• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Another Pärt of the programme …

Often Mahler's Ninth Symphony is programmed on its own; after all, what can be added to a work that encompasses the entire gamut of a man's experience?

But in this week's concerts, Donald Runnicles opens with Arvo Pärt's Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten and will perform the two works without a break.

"It is possible to put a listener in a certain frame of mind by preparing them with another work," he says.

Benjamin Britten was a great fan of Mahler's music.

"They shared a need for transparency, exactness and clarity," says Runnicles.

"The Cantus is quintessentially Pärt, and he in turn thought very highly of Britten as a man and a composer.

Britten's pacifism led him to be an outcast, a non-belonger, and that certainly relates to Mahler.

The first note of the Cantus is a bell on A" - the same note on which Mahler's symphony whispers into being - "so the meditation, the contemplation, the seeds for that resounding final silence, all that will begin long before the first note of the symphony has even sounded."

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.