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CURRENT LISTENING: ARVO PART: FRATRES

By studying the early roots of Western music, Part essentially rediscovered his faith in the art-formBy studying the early roots of Western music, Part essentially rediscovered his faith in the art-form

There's far more to minimalism in music than Glass, Reich and Riley. Significantly there is Arvo Part, whose particular avenue of classical minimalism is the ideal of 'sacred music'.

Part had a dramatic split in his career as a composer when he moved away from Schoenberg's twelve tone technique and its attendant serialism . The Estonian composer closed out that aspect of his oeuvre and entered a period of contemplative silence.

As Part's biographer, Paul Hiller observed, "He had reached a position of complete despair in which the composition of music appeared to be the most futile of gestures, and he lacked the musical faith and will-power to write even a single note".

By studying the early roots of Western music, Part essentially rediscovered his faith in the art-form by channeling plainsong, Gregorian chant and early Renaissance polyphony.

The result is a body of work that is liturgical and deeply spiritual.

As his contemporary Steve Reich states," I love his music, and I love the fact that he is such a brave, talented man .... He's completely out of step with the zeitgeist and yet he's enormously popular, which is so inspiring. His music fulfills a deep human need that has nothing to do with fashion"

Taste is a dictatorship.

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