Fratres (11:25)

Cover of Tabula Rasa

From Tabula Rasa and 25 other releases

Fratres is a composition by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, existing in versions for a wide variety of instrumentations and exemplifying Pärt’s tintinnabuli style of composition. Structurally, the piece consists of a set of eight or nine chord sequences, separated by a recurring percussion motif. The chord sequences themselves follow a clear pattern, and while the progressing chords explore a rich harmonic space, they nevertheless appear to have been generated by means of a simple formula.

The first version for string quintet and wind quintet (early music ensemble) was written by Pärt in 1977. Further versions were written over the years leading up to about 1992.
Several versions of the piece exist, some of which are listed below. Each version typically has a duration of seven to twelve minutes in performance. Fratres exists perhaps most prominently in its versions for violin, string orchestra, and percussion and for violin and piano. Similarity to these versions of the others varies: for instance, the versions for viola and piano, or cello and piano are almost exactly the same as that for violin, whereas the version for string quartet is more similar to the cello version.


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  • diurnoculto

    10 minutes gone, just like *that*.

    16 Nov 6:41am Reply
  • Vatsslav

    Гениальный композитор!!!

    3 Nov 8:58am Reply
  • KConn3711

    so lovely and moving

    18 Jun 1:40am Reply
  • achromes

    voll schön

    12 Jan 5:03pm Reply
  • ImATumbler

    listening to the 12 cellists version for the first time. excellent. a transcendent composition.

    27 Jul 2013 Reply
  • BeePositive

    Mysteriously powerful

    24 Feb 2013 Reply
  • oleeo

    my new favorite modern composer

    28 Dec 2012 Reply
  • YoFaaaWay

    there will be BLOOD-D-D-D-D

    19 Sep 2012 Reply
  • pitvok

    Always in love with his music ... more now than ever

    15 Aug 2012 Reply
  • mattmacneil

    serious question for violinists. is the beginning part extremely hard to play? or can an average violinist learn it fairly quickly with moderate practice?

    19 Jul 2012 Reply
  • gytonuncut


    22 Apr 2012 Reply
  • lastfmkvndnbrnd

    beautiful but I also get sad...

    17 Apr 2012 Reply
  • lastfmkvndnbrnd


    17 Apr 2012 Reply
  • fittalk

    Love it .....

    24 Mar 2012 Reply
  • exoapollo

    @profugus: I believe the title does, not the music itself. In itself it describes a sparseness or simplicity. Hence my issue with it....

    12 Dec 2011 Reply
  • eckwinox

    exquisite...been playing this on repeat the whole day

    2 Dec 2011 Reply
  • DLune

    I fell into the AP universe and became someone else.....

    13 Nov 2011 Reply
  • th00ht

    Please all. Flag this to be renamed to "Fratres for violin and piano". Arvo Pärt also arranged this for string quartet.

    31 Oct 2011 Reply
  • fato_profugus

    @exoapollo: why do you think minimalism implies simplicity?

    12 Sep 2011 Reply
  • ChaosTheoryTing

    This album still manages to stop my heart dead. Takes me back to hazy summer days years ago, lying by my window and watching the dust dance in the sunlight while listening to Tabula Rasa in its entirety. It was nice.

    29 Jul 2011 Reply
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