Arvo Pärt’s symphonies released by ECM

ECM Records has released a new album, “Arvo Pärt: The Symphonies”, featuring all four symphonies by the Estonian maestro.

The orchestral works from the composer’s different creative periods are performed by the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic, conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste.

According to the Arvo Pärt Centre, the composer maintains that each of his symphonies is a world unto itself and points in a different direction. “A compass is necessary to determine that direction,” the centre said in a news release.

The compositions are arranged in chronological order, giving an idea of Pärt’s musical journey.

“I perceive Arvo Pärt’s creations as a biographical narrative, and hope that with the sound of the entirety of the music on this album we can refresh our memory of Pärt’s journey,” conductor Tõnu Kaljuste said in a statement.

“It began with an entry into the neo-classical and serialist world, moved on with a composition that incorporated the use of collage, continued under the influence of early sacred music and – with Symphony No 4 – arrived at something like confessional music, with a sound world supported by prayer, penitence and suffering.”

Tõnu Kaljuste and the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic recorded all four symphonies at the Wrocław National Music Forum in Poland.

The new album is also accompanied by a 27-page booklet with Wolfgang Sandner’s thorough essay on Pärt’s symphonic works.


Cover: Arvo Pärt (by Kaupo Kikkas).

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About the author: Silver Tambur

Silver Tambur is the cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Estonian World. He has previously studied journalism at the University of Tartu, and politics and society at the Birkbeck College, University of London. Silver has been the editor at the Estonian Public Broadcasting’s news service in English, as well as contributing for the Business Sense magazine in the UK, Deutsche Welle and Radio New Zealand. You can also follow him on Twitter and like his page on Facebook. You can write to Silver at