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Boomkat Product Review:
Orient Occident is a more recent recording of the great Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's work, released in 2002, and might surprise those familiar with his better known, sparser works.
Performed by the mighty Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Swedish Radio Choir the three pieces contained here are markedly busier, but no less spiritual than you would expect with two of the pieces set to Psalms. The opening piece 'Wallfahrtslied / Pilgrim's Song' was written in 1984 as a tribute to a composer friend, and is fittingly melancholic, taken from Psalm 121.
The rest of the record is markedly lighter however, with the final piece 'Como Cierva Sedienta' almost triumphant, jubilant heights and feeling almost cinematic in scope. There are mirrors here somewhat with the work of Philip Glass, and the piece has a similar quality to Glass's operas. It might not be the most obvious of Pärt's records to choose, but 'Orient Occident' is a hugely rewarding disc which will enthral as much as it will challenge listeners. Highly recommended.