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Berliner Messe

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Product Details

  • Composer: Part
  • Audio CD (Oct. 19 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ncl
  • ASIN: B0002TXT5M
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #102,242 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Cantate Domino Canticum Novum
2. Kyrie
3. Gloria
4. Alleluia Verses I & II
5. Veni Sancte Spiritus
6. Credo
7. Sanctus
8. Agnus Dei
9. De Profundis
10. Summa
11. The Beatitudes
12. Magnificat

Product Description

With a number of modern classics already to his name, notably the Symphony No. 3 , Tabula Rasa , Fratres and Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten , culminating in 1982 with his largest work thus far, the St John Passion , Arvo Part has during the past 20 y

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9bb3a498) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bd56360) out of 5 stars Gorgeous Choral Music by Pärt, Gorgeously Performed Dec 1 2004
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I will be the first to admit that I have not been a particular fan of the trend in contemporary choral music that partakes rather heavily of ancient methods--music like that of Pärt and John Tavener--and have tended to steer clear of them after a few exposures. I liked Pärt's 'St. John Passion' but felt it went on too long and was just a bit monochrome. I have also not been a big fan of trance music, of which some of this music seems to take part. But for some reason I have really responded positively to this release of choral music by Pärt. Perhaps it is because the performances are so wonderful. The Elora Festival Singers are a group made up of professional singers from Toronto, mostly from, I think, Toronto's well-known Mendelssohn Choir. I have been impressed with other recordings they have made and I suppose that's why I gave this CD a listen. Some, or even perhaps all, of these pieces have been recorded before, some several times, and some by such wonderful groups as the Hilliard Ensemble, the group that first recorded the 'St. John Passion.' Perhaps my positive response also has something to do with the fact that there are several shorter pieces here, pieces that one can easily imagine being performed as part of a church service, rather than an evening long work like the Passion. Amazon has not, as of the date of this review, listed the individual pieces included here. They are:

Cantate Domino Canticum Novum (Psalm 95) (1977, rev. 1996)
Berliner Messe (1990-91, rev. 1992)
De Profundis (1980)
Summa (1977)
The Beatitudes (1990, rev. 1991)
Magnificat (1989)

The largest piece here (23 minutes long) is the seven-movement 'Berliner Messe' which exists in several versions. The one here is for string orchestra and choir. The orchestral accompaniment is very spare (and very lovely) and, as with most of Pärt's choral music, the choir sings a kind of extended Gregorian chant with much unison singing but also with austere choral harmonies that often include added-note triadic chords. The effect is prayerful and serene. The 'Credo' is a rewriting of the earlier 'Summa,' which also appears here as a separate piece. In both the 'Credo' and the earlier 'Summa' there is a medieval-sounding etiolation of Lutheran chorale tunes. The 'Agnus Dei' is particularly haunting.

The setting of the 'Psalm 95' ('O sing unto the Lord a new song') is a simple chant-like setting for four-part chorus and organ with changing harmonies and spare organ accompaniment. 'De Profundis' ('Out of the depths I have called unto Thee') does indeed rise out of the depths, with tenors and basses intoning the main theme; quiet bass drum strokes and a recurring single tubular chime note against a wavering organ ostinato create an incantatory effect. 'The Beatitudes' and 'Magnificat' (the latter possibly the most performed of all of Pärt's choral pieces) are in like vein. The seven-minute 'Magnificat' alternates solo and choral sections and perhaps provides a bit more contrast than others of his works.

Although I have not heard other recordings of these pieces, I cannot praise too highly the limpid, lightly inflected, and reverent singing of the Elora Festival Singers, along with the excellent support of their partners, the Elora Festival Orchestra and organist Jürgen Petrenko, led by their conductor (and Elora founder) Noel Edison. This is music-making at the highest level.


Scott Morrison
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c567204) out of 5 stars Arvo Part's opus July 1 2011
By Stephen G Kennedy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In the last year I have spent about 90% of my musical listening time with Arvo Part. Owning about 18 of his CDs -- all obtained through Amazon -- that's almost full-time Part-time. My comments are not about this CD in particular, but about the fact that virtually all of his music has somehow risen above and apart (there is that bad punning again) from so much contemporary serious music: the spiritual, the aesthetic, the dramatic, the mythopoetic realms all integrate powerfully time and time again. The Christian themes that this CD - and several others -- possess are often dominant in Part's work, of course. But they do not prevent the listener of any perspective from being deeply moved. The human voices and the words they send into the air on musical notes -- all that somehow melds into something one has to contend with.

I know nothing about music formally, so I am blissfully ignorant of the technicality of what Part -- or any musician -- is doing. But in listening to Arvo Part, my sense is that his tintinnabulism (if that's the correct noun) has functioned at a level unattainable by so many other composers. I hope more and more people will gain access to him in the U.S. It is a music that transforms, that challenges, that soothes, that unravels, and that re-creates one's relationship to the universe. Pompous as that sounds -- ya gotta go for it!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bd70db0) out of 5 stars Buy this. Buy it now! July 25 2009
By Leena Baron - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is probably the single most cherished CD of choral music that I own. Many people (even musically literate people) have never heard of Arvo Part, which was my case when one day I was listening to classical music radio and heard his "Magnificat". I was so struck by the haunting, ethereal beauty of the work that got online and bought the CD from this Estonian composer that I had never heard of as soon as I got home. The entire Berliner Messe is fantastic, but the two gems of this are his settings of the "Magnificat" and the "Beatitudes" (with its elating eleventh-hour organ swell). I cannot recommend this album enough.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bbed6d8) out of 5 stars Arvo Part's Berlin Mass, and other works Sept. 30 2012
By Dr. H. A. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Berlin Mass (Berliner Messe), composed in 1977 but revised in 1996, is the main work on this disc of religious compositions by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt: it is introduced by a short canticle, a setting of Psalm 95, `O sing unto the Lord a new song'. There are four other works on the CD: A choral setting of the Summa of 1977, which has appeared on other discs with different instrumental settings; De Profundis from 1980; the beautiful exotic harmonies of the Magnificat of 1989; and the latest of the compositions before the revised version of the Mass, The Beatitudes composed in 1990 and revised the following year. The works are all performed by the Toronto-based Elora Festival Singers and Orchestra, conducted by their founder Noel Edison, with Toronto-born Jurgen Petrenko on the organ. We have to thank Naxos for bringing this wonderful-sounding group to much wider attention. This is an exquisitely beautiful and spiritually uplifting CD of music.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c83a540) out of 5 stars Wonderful Sept. 26 2013
By StoryTeller - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Absolutely beautiful, but beauty is in the eye, or ear, of the beholder/listener. There is an unusual feel to this music that makes it almost hypnotizing. It's not what I would call "standard classical".