I have been a fan of the modern classical composer Arvo Part since 1993 when he was my companion for a long overnight car journey back from my sister’s in Bristol. Or to be more specific, his music was my companion in the days when t’radio worked in the car. I can’t remember exactly what pieces were played but the Berlin Mass was among them and I remember being blown away by its beauty. Since then I have amassed a decen enough wee collection of works, mostly on CD but some also on iTunes.
But the major omission was that I had never heard his works performed live. Until this evening when I spet a very pleasant hour at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery listening to the Kanon Pokajanen performed by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. If I thought that listening to the CDs was enchanting then this was positively mind-blowing. Although not, I am told, technically difficult, for a choir to hold the tune for an hour solidly with no instrumental accompaniment was astounding (to be able tos tand still that long amazes me!) and the sheer tonality of it was breathtaking. An absolutely gorgeous setting too, for an evening’s music that had me entranced from start to finish.
Why do I not do this more often?