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Album Review

A richly realized collection of prayers that brings deep, resounding enlightenment to the ears. Everything about this compact disc feels like Arvo Pärt's master work, right down to the gorgeous photos in the accompanying booklet. "Te Deum" opens patiently and ominously, then proceeds to run the spectrum between overflowing swells and hushed contemplation. The Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir breathe as one under the magnificent direction of Tönu Kaljuste for this and "Berliner Messe," the closing mass that parts the clouds with its stark beauty and pious rejoicing (the third passage within the mass, "Erster Alleluiavers," is a brief teardrop of reverence that even atheists would ponder). Elsewhere, the a cappella chorus of "Magnificat" shines with vocals that embrace the church walls with chills and crispness, like a beam of moonlight through winter. One of the composer's strengths has always been to find the depth in simplicity. To this end, ever-present ECM producer Manfred Eicher's sparse and beautiful sensibilities fit Arvo Pärt like a glove, especially with "Silouans Song," which blossoms in stoic waves of strings. Such bittersweet longing resides here ("My soul yearns after the Lord") that a little sadness seems to slip out through all the reverence. This is uniformly his finest album, but by no means does it encompass all he has to offer. The compositions in Te Deum may not reveal Pärt's more eclectic and thunderous side, but few other albums carry such a consistent theme.

Customer Reviews

A satisfying treat for the mind

I borrowed this cd from a friend and listened to it non-stop my first year of college. It was perfect for studying and relaxing. When I moved after my first year, I looked and looked and looked for this cd and could not find it. Now that I've finally found it 10 years later, I can't wait to put it back into my library and start listening to it again. It truly is a satisfying treat for the mind.

Berliner Messe

this takes my breath away...what a well done preformance...i love this buy it!!! i wish our group sounded like this!!! I wish i knew ARVO PART!

Arvo Part & Estonian Philharmonic = Total Nirvana!

I had this album in my iTunes Shopping cart for a while, and when I finally heard the Sanctus from the Berliner Mass on Minnesota Public Radio, I had to download it immediately! The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is one of my favorite choirs to listen to, the blend and tone is superb! Phrasing is there and I love the small amount of vibrato to add to the color of the tone. Their best choral attributes with Arvo Part's Music is the best combination! Sublime and etherial! That's all that can be said!


Formed: 1981

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Tõnu Kaljuste founded the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in 1981 as a professional successor to his father Heino Kaljuste's amateur chamber choir Ellerhein. The younger Kaljuste nurtured the ensemble as its principal conductor and artistic director for 20 years, focusing the group's programs and recordings on music by Estonian composers, primarily Arvo Pärt and Veljo Tormis, although its full repertoire ranges from Gregorian chant and gems of the Baroque and Classical periods to contemporary...
Full Bio

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Pärt: Te Deum, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
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  • $11.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music, Modern Era
  • Released: Sep 20, 1993

Customer Ratings