In an interview in Toronto in the 1980’s Pärt shared his personal definition of minimalism as the process by which his music is reduced to the number One. In his view, that One is the Divine Creator. In Adam’s Lament (2009) he sees the Biblical Adam as a unifying symbol. Pärt said, “Our ancestor Adam foresaw the human tragedy that was to come and experienced it as his own guilty responsibility, the result of his sinful act. He suffered all the cataclysms of humanity into the depths of depression, inconsolable in his agony.” Adam’s Lament is based on a Russian text by the ascetic monk and poet, St. Silouan of Athos (1866–1938). Pärt’s fascination with Silouan is such that his setting of this text is faithful to its every nuance. The music reflects a range of devotional writing that’s by turns dramatic, passionate, humble and submissive.
This work was premiered at 'The Music of Arvo Part' concert presented by Soundstreams on October 1, 2013 at Koerner Hall in Toronto, Canada and performed by Choir 21, Virtuoso String Orchestra and Tonu Kaljuste (conductor).
Learn more about the Soundstreams commission catalogue in our SoundMakers website: SoundMakers.ca/soundstreams-commissions
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