Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Arvo Part Creator Spiritus Harmonia Mundi 2012

Paul Hillier brings together an inspiring collection of Arvo Part's choral and instrumental chamber music pulled from various periods throughout this most prolific composer's career. Leading this celebrated vocal ensemble is the Threatre of Voices and Ars Nova Copenhagen along with the NYYD Quartet and long time collaborator organist Christopher Bowers-Broadbent. Hillier scores major points with yet another and arguably his most powerful release of ethereal and sacred music to date. The intricate and somewhat idiosyncratic style is but a perfect vehicle for Hillier to showcase his creativity and create a work of timeless beauty and a unique personal experience in the emotionally charged works of Arvo Part.

The true essence of Part manifests itself in a collective of relatively new pieces, so that this release is also be it ever so brief a taste of Part's most recent and stirring a Capella choral work. Part's music while deceptively simplistic in presentation to the uninitiated is quite complex with the odd choice of three singers ad string trio. The musical road less travelled gives us a moving texture, a sonic tide of ebb and flow to wash over the listener with an intimate yet emotive quality similar composers have failed to match.

Part's music while unusual in genre and at times possessing a most reverent sacred quality is in fact controlled sonic fury. The vocal parts the encompass this essentially sacred choral chamber music have the ability to burst into violent declamation. The timbre and voice still manage a unique and harmonious blend as to be one voice and serves to enhance the color and subtle nuances of the string quartet.

Classical vocal music can be uncharted territory for many. Like a soldier parachuting behind enemy lines one is never sure what to expect which is the beauty of Arvo Part. Emotionally charged, evocative yet intimate and deceptively subtle finds Creator Spiritus a stirring masterpiece in the harmonic possibilities still available in music that dates as far back as 433.

A sublime experience and recording. The sacred and secular are as one.

Theatre Of Voices Ars Nova Copenhagen Director Paul Hillier.
With Christopher Bowers-Boradbent, Organ
NYYD Quartet.