BBC Music Magazine 5 stars; Classics Today 10/10.
The musical world of Arvo Pärt has fascinated listeners and performers for several decades. The astonishing, breathtaking musical landscape he presents brings us to another dimension in which time seems to cease to exist. And his music reaches an audience which is wider than that of any other contemporary composer of art music today, teaching us that newly composed music can serve to fulfil spiritual needs. As BIS' contribution to the celebration of Pärt’s 70th anniversary this year, we have looked back through our own mirror and brought together a number of works spanning more than three decades of his career: from 1964 to 1998. These include works for choir a cappella, for piano, organ, violin and piano, string quartet, orchestra etc etc. And among the musicians are names such as Neeme Järvi, Tõnu Kaljuste, the Swedish Radio Choir, pianist Alexei Lubimov, Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet and trumpet player Håkan Hardenberger. Some of the works are well-known, such as Fratres (in two versions: for string quartet and for violin and piano) and Spiegel im Spiegel; others less so, for instance Variationen zur Gesundung von Arinuschka, written for the composer’s daughter. A many-facetted retrospective, thus – and one that offers some intriguing insights into this fascinating composer, who himself has said: “If anybody wishes to understand me, they must listen to my music.”