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Work

Arvo Pärt

Arvo Pärt Composer

7 Magnificat Antiphons   

Performances: 4
Tracks: 16
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Musicology:
  • 7 Magnificat Antiphons
    Year: 1988
    Genre: Magnificat
    Pr. Instrument: Chorus/Choir
    • 1.O Weisheit
    • 2.O Adonai
    • 3.O Sproß
    • 4.O Schlüssel
    • 5.O Morgenstern
    • 6.O König
    • 7.O Immanuel
Arvo Pärt's early choral works—those in the so-called tintinnabular style—were composed almost exclusively to Latin texts. However, after his relocation to Germany the composer began to embrace the German language in his music, as evidenced by his Seven Magnificat Antiphons (composed in 1988, revised in 1991). The texts that make up this work would normally occur, individually, as antiphons to the Magnificat at Vespers on the seven evenings preceding Christmas Eve. Pärt, however, turned them into a single work in seven sections. These Antiphons should not be confused with Pärt's setting of the actual Magnificat text, which he composed in 1989.

These austere settings—like so much of Pärt's choral music evocative of the sacred music of the Middle Ages or Renaissance—are scored for mixed choir. Sometimes the musical content is so minimal as to evoke the quality of simple recitation. There is a dark quality in parts of the work, such as "O Adonai" or "O Spross aus Israels Wurzel." In "O Morgenstern," Pärt combines major and minor modes to evoke the Morning Star. The gradual crescendo of "O König aller Völkern" leads into the quiet opening of the concluding "O Immanuel," with its subtly dissonant chromatic shifts.

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