At the time, around 1976, when Arvo Pärt’s oeuvre was about to be reborn in his newfound tintinnabular style, the enthusiasm mustered by the world of ancient music which was opening up around him in his native Estonia was to have, in his own words, “the effect of a midwife on my new music%22. The present release by ATMA is unique in that it rekindles that seminal atmosphere in performances of these stunning works–foremost among which the strikingly beautiful Stabat Mater–entirely on early instruments and at the Baroque pitch of A = 415 Hz. The profound voices of the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal choir and the Franz Joseph String Quartet also deliver two visions of Pärt’s famous setting of the Christian Creed, Summa, while the Quartet alone is heard in Fratres (originally composed for a string ensemble on early instruments) and the haunting miniature Psalom. Finally, star countertenor Daniel Taylor sings the telling ‘motet’ Es sang vor langen Jahren, on words by the German Romantic poet C.M. von Brentano.
A deep and moving experience.