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Instrumental music by Arvo Pärt|
The composer in 2008
Fratres (Brothers) is a composition by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt exemplifying his tintinnabuli style of composition. It is three-part music, written in 1977, without fixed instrumentation and has been described as a "mesmerising set of variations on a six-bar theme combining frantic activity and sublime stillness that encapsulates Pärt's observation that 'the instant and eternity are struggling within us'."
Structure and versions
Structurally, Fratres consists of a set of eight or nine chord sequences separated by a recurring percussion motif. The sequences themselves follow a pattern, and while the progressing chords explore a rich harmonic space, they appear to have been generated by means of a simple formula. Authorized versions of Fratres are as follows:
- Three-part music with solo variations: 1980 for violin and piano
- Three-part music with solo variations: 1989 for cello and piano
- Three-part music with solo variations: 1992 for violin, strings and percussion
- Three-part music with solo variations: 2008 for viola, strings and percussion
- Three-part music: 2004 for wind band
- Three-part music: 2007 for chamber ensemble
- Three-part music: 2009 for 3 recorders, percussion and cello (or viola da gamba)
In other compositions
Jazz pianist Aaron Parks incorporated elements of Fratres into his composition "Harvesting Dance," heard on his album Invisible Cinema and on Terence Blanchard's album Flow.