Pärt: Gloriae Dei Cantores: Stabat Mater - Choral Works (SACD-Hybrid)
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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 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. Gloriæ Dei Cantores, under the direction of Richard K. Pugsley, is dedicated to promoting the best of sacred choral music. Several years ago, they began an in-depth study of Arvo Pärt, immersing themselves in his compositional style. They sang his music in worship, on tour and in an extensive concert series at the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA. In this recording, the expressive beauty and clarity of Arvo Pärt's music shines through the joyful dance-like rhythms of Peace Upon You, Jerusalem and the glorious setting of Mary’s words in the Magnificat. The masterful L’abbe Agathon sets the scene of this 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 - a musical landmark in Pårt's career - is Stabat Mater, written to express the passion, agony, and love of Mary at the foot of the cross of her son.