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Arvo Pärt: Credo

  • for piano, mixed choir and orchestra
  • 4 2 3 4 - 4 4 3 1 - timp, perc(5), str
  • Duration: 12’
  • Soloists:
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st piccolo
    2nd piccolo
    1st flute
    2nd flute
    1st oboe
    2nd oboe
    1st clarinet in Bb
    2nd clarinet in Bb
    1st bass clarinet in Bb
    2nd bass clarinet in Bb
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    1st contrabassoon
    2nd contrabassoon
    1st horn in F
    2nd horn in F
    3rd horn in F
    4th horn in F
    1st trumpet in Bb
    2nd trumpet in Bb
    3rd trumpet in Bb
    4th trumpet in Bb
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    3rd trombone
    violin I
    violin II
  • Choir: SATB
  • Composer: Arvo Pärt
  • Table of contents:
    Credo für Klavier, gemischten Chor und Orchester

Work introduction

In the 1960s I became so fascinated by that central idea of Christianity “Love your enemies” that it gave birth to my composition Credo. The work comprises two musically opposing, colliding worlds: one serial and aleatoric, the other an arrangement of a prelude by Bach. What I wanted to show through the work's unfolding – inexorable like a chain reaction – is how the postulate ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’, harmless as it may seem in its initial stage, only gradually displays the full destructive dimensions of its true face; an escalation of power that, like an avalanche, eventually comes up against its own limits. What at first we perceive as human justice finally turns into its opposite. ‘Do not resist one who is evil’ … ‘Love your enemies’ – there is nothing more radical and enigmatic than these words of Christ, which nearly burst the bounds of our reason. And yet…

Arvo Pärt


The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Tallinn (EE)
Estonian RSO
Neeme Järvi

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