Cambridge University Press Publishes A Collection Of Articles On Arvo Pärt

From the International Arvo Pärt Centre


The Cambridge University Press publishing house has just released The Cambridge Companion to Arvo Pärt, a 250-page collection of articles edited by Andrew Shenton as part of the series The Cambridge Companions to Music.

Many of the articles are written by academics and music researchers, but the collection is aimed at a wide readership.

Andrew Shenton has penned two general articles for the Companion, one on tintinnabuli and its philosophy entitled Introduction: the essential and phenomenal Arvo Pärt and one on Pärt himself called simply Arvo Pärt: in his own words. Immo Mihkelson looks at Pärt’s creative composition work in Soviet Estonia in A narrow path to the truth: Arvo Pärt and the 1960s and 1970s in Soviet Estonia, while Jeffers Engelhardt reviews his later life and work in Perspectives on Arvo Pärt after 1980. Leopold Brauneiss considers the essential musical structures of the tintinnabuli style such as scales (the melodic lines), triads (the ‘sounding bells’), the techniques of mirroring, parallel movement, and multiplication as archetypes in Musical archetypes: the basic elements of the tintinnabuli style. Analyzing Pärt by Thomas Robinson presents research into the methodological approaches that can be used towards Pärt’s work so that the results would be truly relevant in terms of the music itself, while Marguerite Bostonia’s Bells as inspiration for tintinnabulation discusses the sound of bells as a literal and figurative source of inspiration for tintinnabuli music. Robert Sholl focuses on the spiritual side of Pärt’s music in Arvo Pärt and spirituality and Benjamin Skipp puts it in the context of the modern world in The minimalism of Arvo Pärt: an ‘antidote’ to modernism and multiplicity?, while the commercial success and media popularity of Pärt’s music are covered in Laura Dolp’s article on Arvo Pärt in the marketplace.

The appendices contain Andreas Peer Kähler’s essay Radiating from silence: the works of Arvo Pärt seen through a musician’s eyes on the challenges of performing Pärt’s music, and Pärt’s own thoughts on Alfred Schnittke and Heino Eller and his acceptance speeches for the International Bridge Prize of the city of Görlitz from 2007 and for the Léonie Sonning Music Prize 2008. Both these speeches were previously published in German in Arvo Pärt im Gespräch. There is also a list of works by the composer drawn from the records of his publisher Universal Edition and a biographical timeline and selected bibliography.

Other publications are expected in the autumn with a new translation in English and French based on Enzo Restagno’s Arvo Pärt allo specchio. Conversazioni, saggi e testimonianze, the companion to the 2004 Settembre Musica Turin Music Festival, though the English and French editions will be translated from the authorised German version published by Universal Edition as Arvo Pärt im Gespräch. Arvo Pärt in Conversation will be published in October 2012 in the USA by Dalkey Archive Press, and will accompany Restagno’s wide-ranging interview with the Pärts with articles by Saale Kareda and Leopold Brauneiss and the same acceptance speeches. The French version is expected in November 2012 and will be published by Actes Sud and will contain the Restagno interview, the Brauneiss article and an extended essay by David Sanson, the translator and publisher of the book.