From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Fratres, meaning "brothers" in Latin, is a composition by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt which exemplifies his tintinnabuli style of composition.[1] The first version was written in 1977, and was followed by a wide variety of arrangements for other instruments. It is 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'."[2]

Structure and versions[edit]

Structurally, Fratres 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.[3] The first version for string quintet and wind quintet (early music ensemble) was written by Pärt in 1977.[citation needed] Further versions were written over the years leading up to about 1992. It exists most prominently in its versions for solo violin, string orchestra, percussion, and for violin and piano. The similarity between versions varies: for instance, the versions for viola and piano, or cello and piano, are almost exactly the same as that for violin and piano, whereas the version for string quartet is more similar to the cello version.

In film[edit]

In other compositions[edit]

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. [4]


  1. ^ Rade Zivanovic (2012). "Arvo Part’s Fratres and his Tintinnabuli Technique" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  2. ^ Arvo Pärt, Sinfini Music website
  3. ^ Linus Åkesson (2007-12-03). "Fratres". Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  4. ^ Frank J. Oteri (2014). "Aaron Parks: Make Me Believe A Melody". Retrieved 2014-06-17. 

External links[edit]