Ripped from my CD, it’s an insanely quiet album so I added +13db via replaygain. Don’t worry, this does nothing to compress dynamic range or even distort. There was still 13db of headroom to spare. Yes, I know you film nerds will complain about the mashup below. Trust me, it was the least cheesy youtube I could find. -Ian!
“Fur Alina” (1976) was the first effort in tintinnabuli, a two-minute score launching an improvisation that could go on for hours, based on two voices related through triadic harmony and often compared to plainchant. Part selected two selections from it for this disc, and Alexander Malter performs here. There’s not much in the way of set rhythm here. Instead the notes of the piano similar come one after another, with the piano’s rich array of overtones exploited to the fullest. When the pianist stops, the reverberations of the strings continue to send forth such a strong sound, an effect Part was later to explore in his clever “Cantus” in memory of Benjamin Britten.
“Spiegel im Spiegel” (Mirror in Mirror, 1978) is present here in three different recordings. The first and third are of the arrangement for violin and piano, performed by the duo of Vladimir Spivakov and Sergei Bezrodny. The middle recording is for cello and piano with Dietmar Schwalke performing with Alexander Malter. In this extremely elegant piece, the piano keeps a constant cadence against which the string instrument sweeps. The result hints at something immensely spiritual, like seeing two lovers gaze into each other’s eyes. Part was later to shake up this joining of loving voices with the faster-moving “Fratres” piece, arranged for a number of different instruments over the years, but this contemplative early effort has a beautiful clarity.
-Christopher Culver, amazon.com