Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014
"Feel the World Stand Still"
This phrase is currently emblazoned on subway ads across New York City promoting the Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir's Seminary, which will bring the Estonian composer to New York for the first time since 1984. While this kind of dramatic hyperbole often surrounds any discourse regarding Pärt's music—"mystical," "heavenly," "timeless" are frequently used—the overwhelming acceptance of his work is a rare occurrence in the landscape of contemporary concert performance. His is a music that seamlessly bridges the gap between the modern and the ancient, minimalism and Gregorian chant, making the comparisons often cited between Pärt's music and that of both Phillip Glass and Josquin dez Prez the equivalent of an artist being equally heralded alongside Rothko and Caravaggio.