June 10, 2014

DESPITE?:

How a 78-Year-Old Estonian Composer Became the Hottest Thing in Music (CHRISTINE KANOWNIK, June 5, 2014, Vice)

Despite being a 78-year-old Estonian, devout Russian Orthodox Catholic, and classical music composer who made his name in the Soviet Avant-Garde through experiments with collage, 12-tone music, and inventing a form of music called Tintinnabuli that can best be explained through algorithm, Pärt has a transcendent appeal and is kind of blowing up right now.

How can a man who has often said that if you ever want to truly understand his music, that you must read "the Church fathers" have such a wide cultural cachet? There is absolutely no avoiding the religious nature of his work--while describing Tintinnabuli to Björk, he said, "One line is my sins. The next line is my forgiveness for sins." It is a facet of his work that he never compromises on, which actually got him into a lot of trouble with Soviet officials, who drove him from his native Estonia to Vienna and then Berlin.

Though stressful on Pärt personally, this forced immigration was the beginning of his international success. While Russia and Estonia basically struck his name from the official record, banning mention of his name or his work in official performances, Western Europe and America warmly embraced him. 
Posted by at June 10, 2014 3:54 PM
  
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