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by Arvo Pärt
Arvo Pärt.jpg
The composer in 2008
Composed2002 (2002)
DedicationHomage to Anish Kapoor and his sculpture "Marsyas"
  • piano
  • orchestra
Date7 February 2003 (2003-02-07)
LocationTurbine Hall of Tate Modern Museum, London
ConductorAlexander Briger

Lamentate (Homage to Anish Kapoor and his sculpture "Marsyas") for piano and orchestra is the largest instrumental work by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. The work was commissioned by Tate and Egg Live, written in 2002, and premiered on 7 and 8 February 2003 in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern Museum in London where the massive "Marsyas" was installed. The pianist for the premiere was Hélène Grimaud, with Alexander Briger conducting the London Sinfonietta. The piece is written in the tintinnabuli style, the technique Pärt created in 1976.

The approximate duration of the piece is 35–40 minutes.


Besides the solo piano, the piece is scored for 2 flutes (2nd doubling alto flute and piccolo), 2 oboes (2nd doubling English horn), 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets (2nd doubling piccolo trumpet), 2 trombones, timpani, percussion, and strings.

The New York premiere[edit]

The New York premiere of Lamentate took place on January 31, 2012 in Carnegie Hall, in the first part of the 75th birthday tribute concert for the composer Philip Glass who specially requested the piece to be performed.[1]

Arvo Pärt on Lamentate[edit]

"The work is marked by diametrically opposed moods... Exaggerating slightly, I would characterize these poles as ‘brutal-overwhelming’ and ‘intimate-fragile’."

"My first impression was that I, as a living being, was standing before my own body and was dead – as in a time-warp perspective, at once in the future and the present. Suddenly, I found myself put into a position in which my life appeared in a different light. And I was moved to ask myself just what I could still manage to accomplish in the time left to me."[2]

"I have written a lamento – not for the dead, but for the living."

"Anish Kapoor's sculpture shatters not only concepts of space, but also – in my view – concepts of time. The boundary between time and timelessness no longer seems so important."[3]

"The composition cannot really be described as a typical piano concerto. I chose the piano to be the solo instrument because it fixes our attention on something that is "one".



  1. ^ "New York Première of Arvo Pärt's Lamentate at the Request of Philip Glass". Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  2. ^ Quinn, Peter. "Pärt's Lamentate". JSTOR 3878998. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  3. ^ "Marsyas, part 1: Music by Arvo Pärt". Retrieved 13 December 2013.

External links[edit]