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Arvo Part

The Early Years - A Portrait and St John Passion

Year: 1990, 52+74 - NTSC
Code: AH-Arvo


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The Early Years – A Film by Dorian Supin 
The Estonian Arvo Pärt is widely regarded as one of today’s most original creators of music. Largely self-taught, he is remote from the mainstream of the contemporary avant-garde. Much of his music is bound up with sacred texts and has a shimmeringly mystical, devotional quality, underscored by the use of Renaissance harmonizations, medieval melodic techniques and even Gregorian chant. His work was described in the “Financial Times” as “Music of a magical stillness, the work of a very distinctive creative voice, almost impossible to classify, who seems to have appeared without obvious historical progenitors.” Film of rehearsals, recording sessions and concert performances is interwoven with more intimate footage of Pärt with his family. Music featured in the programmes includes Pärt’s „Miserere“, „Cantus“, „Pari Intervallo“ and Eri Klas conducting „Credo“ and „Festina Lente“. 

St. John Passion – Live from Durham Cathedral, 1988 
Although the „St. John Passion“ by Arvo Pärt was written in 1981, it recalls the purity and timelessness of the great musical Passions of the seventeenth century. „The Passion“ takes chapters eighteen and nineteen of the Gospel According to St. John, telling of Jesus being taken from the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter’s denial of Christ, the trial in front of Pilate, the crowd’s insistence that Christ should be crucified and His death upon the cross

Soloists: John Potter, Michael George, Mary Seers, David James, Rogers Covey-Crump, Gordon Jones
Orchestra, Chorus: The Hilliard Ensemble, The Western Wind Choir
Conductor: Paul Hiller
Director: Dorian Supin

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