This one note, or a moment of silence, comforts me. I work with very few elements – with one voice, with two voices. I build with the most.

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Arvo Pärt’s “Fratres” in Eight Versions

This instant and eternity are struggling within us. Notify me of new posts by email. Listening to multiple incarnations back-to-back provides a unique experience. I build with the most primitive materials — with the triad, with one specific tonality.

Fratres – Wikipedia

Music must exist of itself … two, three notes … the essence must be there, independent of the instruments. Notify me of follow-up comments by email.

The particular timbre of an instrument is part of the music, but it is not the most important element. In my dark hours, I have the certain feeling that everything outside this one thing has no meaning. Send this to a friend Your email Recipient email Send Cancel.


The highest virtue of music, for me, lies outside of its mere sound. An interesting new set of overtones arises when the piece is transferred to winds:. Built on a constant open fifth A-E drone, the entire piece is delicately poised somewhere between A major and minor.

And that is why I call it tintinnabulation. Some striking dissonances between the drone and the other voices come out in this version:.

Arvo Pärt: Fratres

Its meditative mysticism recalled the timeless serenity of Renaissance polyphony while arriving at a place which arov completely new. Traces of this perfect thing appear in many guises — and everything that is unimportant falls away.

The three notes of a triad are like bells. The same persistent, eternal message seems to be finding voice in multiple messengers. Tintinnabulation is an area I sometimes wander into when I am searching for answers — in my life, my music, my work.

And this is the cause of all of our contradictions, our obstinacy, our narrow-mindedness, our faith and our grief. This one note, or a moment of silence, comforts me. The complex and many-faceted only confuses me, and I must search for unity.


I work with very few elements — with one voice, with two voices. What qrvo it, this one thing, and how do I find my way to it? Here, it is performed by the Berlin Philharmonic cello section:.

If it were, I would be surrendering to the essence of the music. Time and timelessness are connected.