September 15, 2010 – 3:54 am

To celebrate Estonian composer Arvo Part’s 75th birthday, the BBC Proms featured three of his works.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

BBC Proms 42, 43 and 46 [no label, 2CD]

Live at the Royal Albert Hall, London, UK, August 17 and 20, 2010. Excellent FM stereo.

If you want a description of Pårt’s latest symphony, here it is:

“The ‘Los Angeles’ Symphony is for strings, harp and percussion, and it opens in what sounds like a better world, perhaps that realm to which Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde ascend. The violins begin with a sustained soft chord in the stratosphere, accompanied by isolated plucks from harp and cellos. The score… remains sparse through its three movements. It moves at a snail’s pace.

“The percussion is either the tolling of deep timpani or the ring of high bells. There are deliberate march-like passages with simple harmonies. Chords, though, tend to smudge into each other rather than resolve. String textures are thin; nothing in this symphony is hidden. Single sounds become windows looking out to the world.”

- Mark Swed at the premiere of Part’s ‘Los Angeles’ or Symphony No. 4 at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, January 10, 2009. The Los Angeles Philharmonic was conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Thankfully, the BBC Proms is not all about dead composers’ music, not that Part’s works can be called “lively”. The highlight of the three works was the UK premiere of Arvo Part’s ‘Los Angeles’ also delivered at the Royal Albert Hall by conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen.

The composer has said it is dedicated to Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a Russian oil executive who was accused of fraud and now languishes in a Siberian prison. Part has gone on to state that the symphony is for “all those imprisoned without rights in Russia.” Los Angeles then is Part’s arrival at the promised land.

It remains a brooding piece of music which is Part’s stylistic achievement. What isn’t obvious is whether Part’s music has captured the West’s and, in particular, America’s dilemma. Is he trying to say Empire is crumbling? There may well be more people imprisoned without rights within America than anywhere else.

When you want to worry, there’s nothing better to be playing in the back of your mind than Arvo Part. “Los Angeles” is not in the same street directory as Irving Berlin’s flag-waving “God Bless America”.

This was a deadheaduk recording for Shed on the Web Productions and shared at DIME. Many thanks to deadheaduk. Also thanks to SirAbelend for the artwork.
- Professor Red

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1
Track 101. Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten (6:34) (10.5MB)
Prom 42: BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner - August 17, 2010
Click here if you reside in North America
Click here if you reside outside North America

St John Passion (66:01)
Track 102. St John Passion - Part A 11:17 (18.9MB)
Track 103. St John Passion - Part B 10:50 (18.2MB)
Track 104. St John Passion - Part C 10:14 (17.2MB)
Track 105. St John Passion - Part D 11:07 (18.7MB)
Track 106. St John Passion - Part E 12:16 (20.6MB)
Track 107. St John Passion - Part F 10:18 (17.3MB)
Prom 43: BBC Singers - August 17, 2010
Andrew Kennedy Pilate
Brindley Sherratt Jesus
Iain Farrington organ
BBC Singers
David Hill conductor

Disc 2 [Note: There is distortion in the FM signal here and there.]
Symphony No. 4, ‘Los Angeles’ (38:53)
Track 201. Symphony No. 4, ‘Los Angeles’ - Part A 9:46 (16.4MB)
Track 202. Symphony No. 4, ‘Los Angeles’ - Part B 10:37 (17.8MB)
Track 203. Symphony No. 4, ‘Los Angeles’ - Part C 9:48 (16.5MB)
Track 204. Symphony No. 4, ‘Los Angeles’ - Part D 8:42 (14.6MB)
Prom 46: Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen - August 20, 2010
Salonen conducts the composer’s first symphony for over 35 years, having given the world premiere last year with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

The tracks, St John Passion and Symphony No. 4, have been arbitrarily split for easier access.

Arvo Part’s Miserere is one of his essential compositions. The Hilliard Ensemble do a brilliant interpretation of the master’s work. Click on the link to order the ECM disc.

  1. 9 Responses to “WHEN WE SHOULD WORRY”

  2. Thanks very much for this very special posting. I hope others will take the time to appreciate Part’s work, particularly the recent “Los Angeles” symphony, whose premiere I was lucky enough to catch at the Disney Hall in L.A., accompanied by Arvo himself.

    By lowendbill on Sep 15, 2010

  3. “There may well be more people imprisoned without rights within America than anywhere else.”
    Many North Koreans, Cubans and Chinese would disagree, if that was allowed.

    By C Perkins on Sep 16, 2010

  4. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if the prisoner-of-conscience population of Cuba totaled less than the number of prisoners without rights in America’s colonial outpost at Guantánamo, Cuba.

    By Motorvilleboy on Sep 18, 2010

  5. Props to Big O for keeping the field wide open. Stay eclectic.

    By Sem Sinatra on Sep 21, 2010

  6. Hello :) I’m a Arvo Pärt lover and I was wondering if you think you could put again for download tracks 2 & 3 ? It would be great ? Do you consider about making other Arvo Pärt portraits ? Thanks a lot from France

    By celie on Apr 19, 2015

  7. DENIAL IS COMPLICITY! Support the Armenian Genocide resolution!
    (you’ll feel better about yourself, I promise)

    By Happy Camper on Apr 25, 2015

  8. Hi - can you repost this?? I am interested in hearing the St. John Passion. Thanks.

    By love this site on Sep 9, 2015

  9. Can you repost this posting: WHEN WE SHOULD WORRY- September 15, 2010 – 3:54 am
    To celebrate Estonian composer Arvo Part’s 75th birthday, the BBC Proms featured three of his works.


    By love this site on Sep 10, 2015

  10. Thanks for the repost of WHEN WE SHOULD WORRY- September 15, 2010 !!!!!

    By love this site on Sep 11, 2015

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