ARVO PÄRT: Tabula Rasa for two violins, prepared piano and string orchestra (1977) 29 ′
JEAN SIBELIUS: Symphony no. 7 in C, op.105 (1924) 21 ′
Arvo Pärt’s music was written in response to the existential need to break with the limits imposed by both Soviet officials and the legacy of the avant-garde. Since the 1970s and based on his studies of classical polyphony and deep knowledge of the asceticism of the Orthodox Church, the author sees music as the rising of a lost resonance. The reference to the echo of the bells – tintinnabuli – suggests that it should be listened to in isolation, away from the passage of time, so that the sprouting of a primordial beauty can be observed. Tabula Rasa, which is based on the same general idea as Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto Grosso and is dedicated to the violinist Gidon Kremer, is one of the key works for understanding the second half of the 20th century.
Jean Sibelius composed the last of his symphonies as a brilliant summary of the formal procedures worked on throughout his entire repertoire. The work, designed as a single movement and relatively short in duration, is structured in four symmetrical sections with various changes in tempo. The symphony makes use of materials accumulated by the composer to compose the unfinished symphonic poem Kuutar, based on the Finnish epic poem Kalevala. Sibelius’s Symphony No. 7, which was composed in 1924, can be thought of as an epilogue to the symphonic tradition of late romanticism.