Arvo Pärt - Summa For String Orchestra

Pärt wrote the first version of this work in 1978, but scored it for four vocalists using the Credo from the mass for its text. Twelve years later, he arranged the piece for string orchestra, giving the work a quite different dimension while retaining its lively, Baroque-like spirit. While much of Pärt's post-serial output has an early music character—chant-like serenity, medieval rawness in some of his orchestral scoring, and simplicity of design and form—this piece exhibits not only a Baroque sound, but a joyous, almost nonchalant manner not frequently heard in the compositions of Pärt. The work opens with a moderately lively theme that repeats throughout the nearly four-minute duration in slightly different guises. The music is jaunty, yet more than vaguely exhibits that Pärtian serenity in its noble confidence, largely built on a lilting two-note idea that appears throughout the theme. There is also a sense of the music constantly ascending, as much of the writing is in the upper ranges of the strings or is rising from the lower ones. One characteristic of the piece typical of Pärt is its spiritual, mesmeric sense conveyed through much repetition of the material. Indeed, like the many versions of Fratres—a work scored for various chamber groups—it comes across with a hypnotic and somewhat mystical glow.

lntel lntel
Mar 25, 2012