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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