It has been over hundreds of years since the creation of the genre of symphony, and it is still one of the “living” genres of the contemporary music. After the final formation in the 18th century, the genre of the symphony acquired new features in terms of musical form, harmonies, ideological and philosophical principles in the next decades, but at the same time it retained principled model of the structure.
Moreover the 21st century symphony continues the way of development and changes. Of course, it would not be right to say that the genre has completely new displays, but at the same time some new tendencies can be identified even now.
According to the sample of the Fourth symphony of the outstanding Estonian composer Arvo Pärt we will try to represent some new compositional innovations, which can be perceived as new manifestation of the genre of symphony.
After finishing the Third symphony, Arvo Pärt did not write symphonies more than 40 years. In 2008, Pärt composed his Fouth symphony titled Los Angeles, which is dedicated to Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The world premiere of the symphony was held on 10/11 of January, 2009, by Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The Fourth Symphony has a number of features, which distinguish it from the previous examples of the same genre. Changes in the orchestra, in the musical language and in the structure of the musical form are noticeable.
The “Los Angeles” symphony was written for string orchestra, harp, timpani and percussion. The symphony has three movements with Coda, each of which consists of three internal sections. According to the fragmentation of the musical material on the basis of characters presented, the symphony includes 9 sections, the last of which is Coda.
One of the interesting features of the symphony is its tonal interpretation. From one hand, it is tonal in the classic sense of the word, but on the other hand, the tonal system is synthesizes with the musical technique of tintinnabuli and the modal writing of the composer.
The Fourth “Los Angeles” symphony by Arvo Pärt is a kind of unique example of the modern symphony. It is closely related to the previous stages of the composer’s oeuvre, but at the same time it is a new model of the genre not only in the life the composer, but also from the standpoint of assessing the idea of symphony.