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Published on Dec 16, 2009
Fratres, for violin, string orchestra and percussion (1977, 1992)
Gil Shaham, violin Roger Carlsson, percussion Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra Neeme Järvi
Fratres is a composition by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, existing in versions for a wide variety of instrumentations and exemplifying Pärt's Tintinnabuli style of composition. Each version has a duration of about 7 to 12 minutes.
It exists perhaps most prominently in its versions for violin, string orchestra, and percussion and for violin and piano. Most other versions are very similar to these two: for instance, the versions for viola and piano and cello and piano are almost exactly the same as the former, whereas the version for string quartet is more similar to the latter.
The first version for string quintet and wind quintet was written in 1977. Further versions were written over the years up to about 1992.
Fratres for strings and percussion Fratres for violin, strings and percussion Fratres for string quartet Fratres for cello and piano Fratres for eight cellos Fratres for wind octet and percussion
Structurally, Fratres consists of a set of nine chord sequences, separated by a recurring percussion motif. The chord sequences themselves follow a clear pattern, and while the progressing chords explore a rich harmonic space, they nevertheless appear to have been generated by means of a simple mathematical formula.