Universal Edition - Arvo Pärt


Arvo Pärt

The Composer

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Arvo Pärt was born in 1935 in Paide, Estonia. After studies with Heino Eller’s composition class in Tallinn, he worked from 1958 to 1967 as a sound engineer for Estonian Radio. In 1980 he emigrated with his family to Vienna and then, one year later, travelled on a DAAD scholarship to Berlin.

As one of the most radical representatives of the so-called ‘Soviet Avant-garde’, Pärt’s work passed through a profound evolutionary process. His first creative period began with neo-classical piano music. Then followed ten years in which he made his own individual use of the most important compositional techniques of the avant-garde: dodecaphony, composition ...


About the Music

For the Performer

The confrontation with Pärt’s music can be compared to making an oath of disclosure. Pärt himself says of his compositional point of departure, “It’s enough to play just one note beautifully,” and this applies doubly to interpretation. Here “playing beautifully” means nothing less than 'perfectly'. Thus those whose first encounter with Pärt’s music is based on its disarmingly simple notation will find themselves confronted with much they have not yet mastered. Suddenly, the regularity of up and down strokes, control of vibrato, changes in bowing or strings, and other aspects become fundamental problems.

Pärt’s music does not call for virtuosity ...


10 of 203 Works

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