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“With Arvo Pärt the terms of comparison normally used for focusing differences between this or that recording tend to fall redundant. Pärt's mature music responds most readily to luminous textures, carefully timed silences and mastery of line, and only rarely to the more subjective impulses of dramatic conducting. Järvi's performance of the first movement suggests urgent parallels with the fraught confrontations in Nielsen's Fifth. And there's more than a hint of 'the spring water purity of Sibelius's Sixth Symphony' in the finale. Everywhere one senses the hovering spectre of early music, but this Third Symphony is the ideal stepping stone for first-timers who wish to journey from standard symphonic fare to Pärt's cloistered tintinnabulation. The more familiar tintinnabulation pieces work very well, with Järvi opting in the Cantus and Festina lente for warmer textures than some rivals, which usefully underlines Pärt's quietly cascading harmonies. There are those who will still prefer a more chaste sonority, the sort favoured on virtually all the ECM productions. But Paavo Järvi's more central approach will appeal to those who until now have heard in Pärt's music ascetic denial rather than quiet affirmation. Recommended.”
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