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About this Piece

Length: c. 15 minutes
Orchestration: strings
First LA Phil performances (world premiere)

Pärt’s first collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic resulted in the premiere performance of his Fourth Symphony, subtitled “Los Angeles,” in 2009. Written for string orchestra, harp, timpani, and percussion, the Symphony is often played around the world and is available from ECM on CD (recorded by the LA Phil and Esa-Pekka Salonen).

“When the orchestra again invited me to compose a piece, I recalled the orchestra’s particular string sound, its wealth of color and its enormous dynamic breadth,” Part says, “and the idea spontaneously came to arrange a purely a cappella work from 1988, my Seven Magnificat Antiphons, for string orchestra.”

These Antiphons are also known in English as “Greater Antiphons.” The work’s seven sections correspond to the seven verses, each of which begins with an invocation. Pärt rearranged the vocal score and created a purely instrumental version; thus the work appears sonically in a completely new light, while its context rises to another artistic level.