The Dutch ensemble, the Cello Octet Amsterdam, has, in self-isolation, performed “Da Pacem Domine”, composed by the Estonian maestro, Arvo Pärt, on 20 March via YouTube.
With nearly half the world’s population under some form of restriction as governments across the globe are trying to curb the spread of the coronavirus, most orchestras and ensembles have also been forced to cancel their public performances. The Dutch ensemble, the Cello Octet Amsterdam, is complying with the rules in their homeland (the Netherlands is also badly affected, with over 6,000 infected and over 350 dead due to the virus), but that hasn’t stopped them from performing live – they now do it online instead.
The ensemble’s eight cellists, each at their own home, performed “Da Pacem Domine”, composed by the Estonian maestro, Arvo Pärt, on 20 March via YouTube. “Perfect aural accompaniment to what the world is experiencing right now,” wrote one of the viewers of the performance. “So heartening to see people come together in times of isolation,” said another.
The piece was especially arranged by Arvo Pärt for the Cello Octet Amsterdam. According to the ensemble, upon hearing the premiere of his first work for the octet, Pärt, who has since become a close friend of the octet, said, “This octet is a piece of gold, I’ve discovered this ensemble ten years too late.”
Arvo Pärt was the world’s second most performed living composer in 2019, according to the classical music event database, Bachtrack.
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Cover: The Cello Octet Amsterdam performing Arvo Pärt in self-isolation. Screenshot from the video.