New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
On the threshold of Arvo Pärt's 85th Birthday - we take a moment to celebrate this incredible composer whose music is a gift in our times. Modest about his achievements yet authentically convinced about the role of his music in today's world, Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) is today's most performed "classical" composer. For the past forty years, Pärt's compositions have shown and spoken the influence of multiple layers and global influences - the music of the Orthodox Church, bells, Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, a compositional technique he developed called "tintinnabuli", and…silence. This particular recording offers a unique cross-section of Pärt's choral works, revealing the heart, soul and mind of a true master of his language in both text and music. If you have not yet heard Stabat Mater - Choral Works by Arvo Pärt - don't miss this choral compilation of Arvo Pärt's special sound world.
"Pärt's sound world, exemplified here by his choral music, demands performers with pure and beautiful tone, and impeccable intonation...The singing is unfailingly secure, lovely, and expressive" -- Fanfare
"The first from America
to have recorded Pärt...superb and corporate vocal tone distinctive. Gloriae Dei Cantores is a high-end and exceptionally well-drilled choir...impressive." -Gramophone
The expressive beauty and clarity of his music shines through the joyful dance-like rhythms of Peace Upon You, Jerusalem and the glorious setting of Mary's own words in the Magnificat. Pärt's masterful setting of L'abbé Agathon sets the scene of an ancient 4th century story of the chance (or was it?) meeting of the hermit Agathon and a leper. After several testings of the hermit's patience and his generosity, the leper reveals himself to be an angel, and blesses the hermit Agathon, and goes on his way. The final work - one of Arvo Pärt's largest choral works is Stabat Mater, written to express the passion, agony and love of Mary at the foot of the cross of her son.
Arvo Pärt's most distinct compositional voice that we hear on this recording is the technique he developed called "Tintinnabuli," which has been called a "theology" expressing the composer's search for truth, beauty, and purity and a profound and personal sense that life and faith cannot be separated.
Before he developed this compositional style, Arvo Pärt heard a snippet of Gregorian Chant on the radio in a bookstore: it was like an icon —a window to another world. "In one moment it was clear how much deeper and more pure is this world," he said. He began to fill his notebooks with the ancient chant melodies and they came to influence his well known compositional form known as Tintinnabuli.
Gregorian Chant is an integral part of Gloriæ Dei Cantores' study and the foundation of their understanding of western music. Members sing the offices of Gregorian Chant daily in Latin at the Church of the Transfiguration, a modern day abbey rooted in the Benedictine tradition. This daily worship profoundly influences their approach to the music they sing in worship and in concert. For over thirty years since their founding in 1988, they have studied and performed the works of over 200 composers ranging from Gregorian Chant to the 21st Century. Dedicated to promoting the best of sacred choral music, several years ago Gloriæ Dei Cantores began an in depth study of Arvo Pärt.
Immersing themselves in Arvo Pärt's compositional style, they sang his music in worship, on tour and during an extensive concert series at the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA. Their repertoire includes Arvo Pärt's larger works such as Passio and the Stabat Mater as well as the lesser known and performed L'abbé Agathon and Berliner Mass.
Whether you are searching for refreshment, find yourself in an impossible situation, or ache in a deep place that is beyond what words can express, let this glorious music bring you to an oasis of peace and serenity.
"A fresh feel to Pärt...passionate and intimate." -AllMusic.com
Gloriæ Dei Cantores (Singers to the Glory of God) holds a passionate dedication to illuminate truth and beauty through choral artistry, celebrating a rich tradition of sacred choral music from Gregorian chant to the twenty-first century. gdcchoir.org
Founded in 1988, Gloriæ Dei Cantores from Orleans, MA, under the direction of Richard K. Pugsley, has touched the hearts of audiences in 23 countries in Europe, Russia, and North America, receiving extensive critical acclaim for its artistic elegance, performance authenticity, and compelling spirituality. Distributed in the United States and internationally by Naxos, the choir's discography of over 50 recordings showcases their extensive repertoire, encompassing both masterworks and rarely performed musical treasures from Gregorian chant to the 21st century.