Arvo Pärt: Silouan's Song

Arvo Pärt Silouan's Song
Silouan's Song

Arvo Pärt: Silouan's Song

Year of composition:
1991
Subtitle:
‘My soul yearns after the Lord ...’
Scored for:
for string orchestra
Composer:
Arvo Pärt
Instrumentation details:
violin I
violin II
viola
violoncello
contrabass
Table of contents:
Silouan's Song
Commission:
im Auftrag von Svenska Rikskonserter
Duration:
6’
Dedication:
to Archimandrite Sophrony and his Brethren
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Audiosamples

Silouan's Song
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Silouan's Song
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

The humble soul lives before God in fear and Iove: in fear, lest it offend God in some way, in Iove for the soul has learned how the Lord loves us... The best thing is to surrender oneself to God and to endure sorrows with hope. The Lord seeing our sorrows never adds more. If sorrows seem to us overwhelming, it means that we have not surrendered ourselves to the divine will.

From the mystical writings of the monk Silouan
Translation Rosemary M. Edmonds

Although Silouan’s Song is a work for string orchestra, it still draws its inspiration from a religious text. Father Silouan (1866 - 1938) named in the work's title, was a Russian mystic who lived a life of simplicity and humility, and wrote a series of moving meditations encapsulating the essence of his spirituality. Pärt quotes Silouan’s phrase ‘My soul  yearns after the Lord’ as a subtitle for music which  in its fervent, impassioned phrases  and echoing  cloister silences,  breathes the inexpressible longing of the devout  supplicant. This is instrumental music regulated and inspired by spiritual discipline, and illuminated by liturgical beauty.

Silouan’s Song is dedicated to Archimandritc Sophrony Sakharov, leader of one of two Russian monastic houses in England, and his brethren. Sophrony is both disciple and translator of Father Silouan.

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World première

Location:
Rättvik
Date:
04.07.1991
Orchestra:
Siljan Chamber Orchestra
Conductor:
Karl-Ove Mannberg

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