Arvo Pärt - Fratres




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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.


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