As in his earlier orchestral works Psalom, Silouan's Song and Trisagion, it is a text that serves as the structural background for the score of Arvo Pärt's new work Orient [&] Occident. The text is liturgical in nature, and is used both in Western and in Orthodox Christianity.
The basic musical idea of the work is provided by a striking monodic line which recurs throughout – sometimes as a unison orchestral passage, sometimes hidden in a chord.
With the consistent regularity of links in a chain, the small, contrasting musical phrases, which emerge one after the other from each individual word of the text, are juxtaposed, thereby forming a softly interlocking musical current.
Arvo Pärt dedicated Orient [&] Occident to the conductor Saulius Sondeckis and his Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, with whom the composer has shared many years of creative cooperation.