Arvo Pärt’s cadenzas, discovered during archive work, were performed in Estonia for the first time


At the opening concert of the Glasperlenspiel Festival on July 6 in the St. John’s Church in Tartu, cellist Marcel Johannes Kits and the Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta, conducted by Neeme Järvi, performed Joseph Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major, where the soloist cadenzas of the first and second movement were written by Arvo Pärt.

It was probably the Estonian premiere of Pärt’s cadenzas, although the composer wrote them 44 years ago. These cadenzas, which had been hidden from the Estonian music public until now, were discovered during the regular archiving work of the Arvo Pärt Centre. Namely, archivist Anneli Kivisiv’s attention was drawn to the letter from the renowned cellist Ivan Monighetti to Arvo Pärt dated May 4, 1979, in which the author thanked the composer for the wonderful cadenzas.

Research into the date of the letter revealed that Arvo Pärt was in Almaty, the then capital of Kazakhstan, in early 1979 at a concert where his cello concerto Pro et contra was performed by Ivan Monighetti and the Kazakh National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tolepbergen Abdrashev.

This spring, the archivist Ardo Västrik managed to contact the then soloist Ivan Monighetti, who shared with the Arvo Pärt Centre a copy of the original sheet music with the dedication: “Cadenzas for Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major, to Ivan Monighetti from Arvo Pärt, February 20, 1979 in Alma-Ata”.

It turned out that, in addition to Pärt’s piece, Haydn’s cello concerto was also performed at the event, and that Pärt had sketched cadenzas intended for the soloist to play in the same concert hall. They contain both the musical elements of the preceding movement, typical of a classical instrumental concerto, as well as more improvisational passages in a freer form. According to the cellist’s recollections, he performed them repeatedly in the early 1980s, but they were probably first heard in Estonia only 44 years later, on July 6, at the opening concert of the Glasperlenspiel Festival by Marcel Johannes Kits.

The Arvo Pärt Centre would like to thank Ivan Monighetti and Marcel Johannes Kits for their cooperation!


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