A Bit of Light at the End: Arvo Part’s 2nd Symphony (Music)

The short Symphony No. 2 (1966) by the Estonian composer Arvo Part doesn’t sound so strange anymore, but it still sounds dark.  Menace is everywhere, though without the climax in the first movement (which features a vibraphone) seeming very grim.  In any case, Part doesn’t leave us in darkness.  The steady drumbeat in the third and last movement soon yields to something the composer might have found difficult to fit in:  a pleasant quote from Tchaikovsky. A bit of light, then, concludes the Christian Part’s symphony.

That drumbeat (and strings) may have lost by now any freshness it once had, but no matter.  To me, in toto this is delectable music.

Estonian composer Arvo Pärt in Christchurch Ca...

Estonian composer Arvo Pärt in Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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