Arvo Pärt has worked almost exclusively with sacred texts for the past three decades, building up a deserved reputation as the foremost religious composer of his era.
For “Adam's Lament”, he's drawn upon a text by the 20th-century St Silouan, which reflects the importance with which Pärt regards the figure of Adam, whom he sees as representing mankind individually and collectively. His lament is for the loss of God's favour, a slow torture tenderly evoked over 24 minutes, climaxing when Adam contemplates the tragedy of his own sons. Accompanied here by shorter pieces including “Salve Regina” and “L'Abbé Agathon”, it's an absorbing, meditative piece, if less beholden than usual to the composer's technique of tintinnabullation.
Download: Adam's Lament; Salve Regina; L'Abbé Agathon