Perhaps my favorite recording of the year, came from none other than the Los Angeles Philharmonic under former music director Esa-Pekka Salonen. It’s a live performance and world premiere recording of Arvo Pärt’s Symphony No.4
(on the ever impressive ECM label) commissioned by the L.A. Philharmonic and first performed here
in early 2009. It’s a major work that is quiet, subtle, and meditative at turns. At the premiere, Pärt cast the work as a statement about freedom, dedicating it to Mikhail Khodorkovsky
and using the occasion to point out the ways in which rights are abrogated in even the most supposedly civilized parts of the world. The symphony is both elegant and filled with the spiritual overtones Pärt’s work is best known for. And somehow, it even got a well-deserved Grammy nomination this year for Best Classical Contemporary Composition from an organization not known for its foresight and judgment in this corner of the music world. It should be a shoo-in for the prize, but even if it is not, you don’t need to be left out. There's a sample of the second movement from the Philharmonia Orchestra under EPS below.
Labels: Best Of, LA Philharmonic 10/11