Arvo Pärt

Arvo Pärt has demonstrated a voracious musical curiosity and daring experimental spirit throughout his career that has allowed him to move beyond his secured place as Estonia's premiere composer to become perhaps the best-known choral and sacred music scorist of his time. Thirty years of musical experimentation with influences as wide-ranging as Russian neo-classicism, Western modernism, Schoenbergian dedecaphony, minimalism, polytonality, Gregorian chant, and collage have led him to the creation of a distinctively sparse technique he calls "tintinnabulation." This method, which takes its name from the Latin word for bells, places unusual emphasis on individual notes and makes extensive use of silence. "I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played," says Pärt. "This one note...or a moment of silence, comforts me.... I build with the most primitive materials -- with the triad, with one specific tonality. The three notes of a triad are like bells. And that is why I call it tintinnabulation."

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