About this Recording
9.70214 - PÄRT, A.: Spiegel im Spiegel (version for violin and piano) (Broman, Crawford-Phillips)

With the seemingly simple harmonies, the overtly melodic approach and the general absence of obvious complexity in his scores, Pärt has caused a silent revolution in contemporary music. Although fellow-composers reacted with suspicion at first, Pärt’s highly characteristic style has quickly won champions both from his colleagues and his audiences, resulting in a huge following all over the world.

‘Time and timelessness are connected. This instant and eternity are struggling within us, and this is the cause of all our contradictions,’ wrote Pärt. That sense of time and timelessness co-existing can be keenly felt in Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in the Mirror), heard here in the version for violin and piano but also existing in versions for viola and piano, and for cello and piano (all three dating from 1978). The pianist’s right hand lays out a gently undulating figure of the utmost simplicity, occasionally filled out with a doleful chord from the left hand. Weaving slowly in and out of the piano’s phrases, the violin plays a melody that seems to resonate in sympathy. The whole piece is sparse and seductive, and holds within its grasp the possibility of infinite repetition. But Pärt allows this graceful piece to fade away, leaving its traces floating in our memory for a long time afterwards.

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