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iTunes Review

The Estonian Arvo Pärt is best known for minimalist compositions that are influenced by early music and imbued with a religious or spiritual quality. This album focuses on Pärt’s piano music, and it provides glimpses of different periods of a lengthy career. Early on, Pärt was taken with Russian neoclassicists such as Prokofiev and Shostakovich, and this influence can be heard on “Zwei Sonatinen für Klavier” from the late ‘50s. “Partita,” from 1959, opens with the motoric, atonal “Toccatina,” which is followed by “Fughetta,” an update of baroque music. 1977’s “Variationen zur Gesundung von Arinuschka” is a world apart from the earlier pieces. This work is spare and tonal, and its tempi are never fast. 1977’s “Für Alina” rivets with an even sparer pair of lines, while 2006’s lively “Für Anna Maria” could almost be a pop song. The album closes with a sprawling piece for piano and orchestra, “Lamentate,” an homage to a sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor; it shifts gears a number of times. The Dutch pianist Ralph van Raat is excellent throughout.

Customer Reviews

Thankfully Part isn't playing this.

Part is often well lauded for his choral work, as well he should be. His keyboard outlooks is often sadly overlooked. Van Raat hopes to correct with this Naxos release. With advocates like Raat, it's a good chance that it will happen. The survey is far from complete (It would have been nice to toss in Credo to boot) but it gives a good view of Part's musical development. His Lamentate is fine, but it lacks solid support from Falletta et all. Still he carries it though like a champ. Getting this collection is a must for anyone who loves Part's music or keyboard music in general. -Bz

Van Raat & Part

Ralph Van Raat is quickly becoming one one my favoite pianists, not just for his excellent playing but also for his passion and the music he chooses to champion. This is another essential release by Mr. Van Raat. A must for anyone fan of Arvo Part's music.

Beautiful album

This is a beautiful, very musical album. It's a real treat for Part fans!


Genre: Classical

Dutch pianist and musicologist Ralph van Raat, like his near-contemporary Steffen Schleiermacher, is in the unusual position of having established a thriving, major international performing career focusing entirely on music of the 20th and 21st centuries. He has been a passionate advocate of new works and has performed the premieres of numerous pieces by living composers, some of which were written especially for him. With a few exceptions, he has gravitated to the music of postmodernist and eclectic...
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