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Arvo Pärt: Berliner Messe

  • for mixed choir or soloists (SATB) and organ
  • Duration: 25’
  • Soloists:
    soprano, alto, tenor, bass
  • Choir: SATB
  • Composer: Arvo Pärt
  • Table of contents:
    Erster Alleluiavers zum Weihnachtsfest (ad lib.)
    Zweiter Alleluiavers zum Weihnachtsfest (ad lib.)
    Erster Alleluiavers zum Pfingstfest (ad lib.)
    Zweiter Alleluiavers zum Pfingstfest (ad lib.)
    Veni Sancte Spiritus (ad lib.)
    Agnus Dei
  • Commission: Im Auftrag des 90. Deutschen Katholikentages Berlin 1990 e.V.

Work introduction

The Berlin Mass is intended to be sung liturgically during Pentecost, and includes the Veni Sancte Spiritus specific to that service. The gently unfolding repetition deliberately avoids dramatic and pictorial elements, exuding quiet dignity and a profound sense of joy. The vocal scores have almost no interpretive markings. Dynamics and tempi are left to the performers; it is their task to experience and communicate the rich spiritual possibilities offered in the music. The work is devout and transparent. For the willing listener, it can be a clear window into the soul. (Richard Brown)


World première

St. Hedwigs-Kathedrale, Berlin (DE)
Paul Hillier

Press reviews

... diatonic melodies, clearly defined rhythmic patterns, consonant harmonic textures that coalesce into long, arching spans during which time seems to stand still. (Peter G. Davis)

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