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A composer’s insight for Christmastide

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Arvo Pärt, whose beautiful but too-short Eastern-Orthodox carol was a highlight of the King’s College service on Chrismas Eve this year, has much to tell us. In an interview with a writer from The New York Times, who most likely doesn’t know much about Christianity, Pärt said this:

“This old music, when it was written, the focus of this music was the Holy Scripture for composers for centuries. It was the reality for every artist. Through one, you can understand the other. Otherwise, you are like some teachers in the Soviet Union who said, ‘Bach was a great composer but he had a defect: he was religious.’ It means this teacher cannot understand the music of Bach.”

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