Arvo Pärt: Orient & Occident

  • for string orchestra
  • Duration: 7’
  • Instrumentation details:
    violin I
    violin II
  • Composer: Arvo Pärt
  • Table of contents:
    Orient & Occident für Streichorchester
  • Dedication: Saulius Sondeckis und dem Litauischen Kammerorchester gewidmet
  • Commission: Auftragswerk der Berliner Festspiele 2000

Work introduction

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.

Nora Pärt


The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Kammermusiksaal, Berlin (DE)
Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
Saulius Sondeckis

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