Don't worry; I'll come back to the whole "tintinnabulation" thing. Reading this on mobile? Click here to view. But there's more to the man and his work than that immediate sensory reaction.
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Fratres was initially composed as three-part music without fixed instrumentation that can be performed with various instruments. Fratres also exists as three-part music with added variations for the solo instrument. The first among these was written for violin and piano and was commissioned by the Salzburger Festspiele festival. It was premiered in at the festival, performed by Gidon and Ele….
It was premiered in at the festival, performed by Gidon and Elena Kremer to whom this version is dedicated. Structurally, Fratres consists of a set of variations separated by recurring percussion motifs in the case of instrument settings without percussion, the drum-like sound is imitated. Throughout the composition we can hear a recurrent theme that starts each time in a different octave.
We can clearly recognise three voices: two melodic lines mainly moving stepwise and the central tintinnabuli voice moving on the notes of minor triad. These are accompanied throughout the entire composition by a resounding low drone. The technically demanding part of the solo instrument was added to the recurring three-part theme as a new layer, placing even more emphasis on the contrast between the changing and constant elements.
Scored for violin and piano. Duration 11 min. Show more Show less. Gidon Kremer violin , Keith Jarrett piano. CD Tabula Rasa. World premiere Completion year Original version Dedication to Elena and Gidon Kremer. Commissioned by Salzburger Festspiele Publishers Universal Edition. Share Facebook Twitter Share.
Arvo Pärt: Fratres
Structurally, Fratres consists of a set of nine chord sequences , separated by a recurring percussion motif the so-called "refuge". The chord sequences themselves follow a pattern, and while the progressing chords explore a rich harmonic space, they have been generated by means of a simple formula. Fratres is driven by three main voices. The entire piece is accompanied by drones in A and E, which are primarily heard in the refuge between each sequence. The chords are created by the movement of the three voices: the low voice starts at C ; the high voice starts at E. Both the low and high voices are moved up or down the D harmonic minor scale at the same time, with the direction of the movement depending on the position within the sequence. The generated chords create harmonic ambiguity, since both C and C are present, yielding an A major or A minor feel.
A guide to Arvo Pärt's music