"Arvo Pärt is one of the most original
voices on the international music scene today." This is one of the reasons
given by the Sonning Music Foundation for awarding the composer the Léonie
Sonning Prize – the most important distinction in the Danish music world.
As its textual
basis Pärt uses the human foibles mentioned in the old Church Slavonic prayer
from the Canon to the Guardian Angel, while the title derives from associations
between this material and Shakespeare’s Hamlet.