Film Music

Since the mid-1990s, when Arvo Pärt's music started to reach massive popularity in the West, we have seen (or rather heard) his music being used more and more as background for a great number of television programmes, especially arts documentaries, or any other sort of programmes that aim at creating an atmosphere of relaxation and contemplation. If you live in the UK and tune in often to the BBC or Channel 4, you will definitely be familiar with this, since they have a special predilection for Arvo Pärt ... and who can blame them! The film industry has been quick to pick up this trend, as it were, and incorporated a great variety of Arvo Pärt's compositions as part of the film scores. Below is a small, obviously incomplete list of films with references to the pieces contained in them.


THERE WILL BE BLOOD

2007 | Paul Thomas Anderson
Beautifully scored film, which includes Arvo Pärt's Fratres for cello and piano, performed by I Fiamminghi, conducted by Rudolf Werthen.

TIMES AND WINDS

2006 | Reha Erdem
Magnificent original score by Arvo Pärt

DEAD MAN'S SHOES

2004 | Shane Meadows
This film includes Arvo Pärt's De Profundis, performed by the Polyphony Ensemble, conducted by Stephen Layton.

FARENHEIT 9/11

2004 | Michael Moore
Michael Moore's much acclaimed documentary film includes Arvo Pärt's Cantus in memory Benjamin Britten, performed by the Staatsorchester Stuttgart and Dennis Russell Davies.

GERRY

2003 | Gus Van Sant
This very minimalistic film by Van Sant features the entire track from the Alina CD.

SINCE OTAR LEFT

2003 | Julie Bertucelli
Features Arvo Pärt's Für Alina and Spiegel im Spiegel.

24 PRELUDES FOR A FUGUE

2002 | Dorian Supin
The most complete documentary on Arvo Pärt's life and music so far. Highly recommended.

HEAVEN

2002 | Tom Twyker
This film features Für Alina and Spiegel im Spiegel.

WAR PHOTOGRAPHER

2001 | Christian Frei
This amazing documentary features Silouans Song from "Te Deum" and Psalom from "Litany".

WIT

2001 | Mike Nichols
Based on a play winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this film features Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel.
Not available from AMAZON.CO.UK

THE INSIDER

1999 | Michael Mann
Litany is played during one scene of this film.
Not available from AMAZON.CO.UK

WINTER SLEEPERS

1997 | Tom Tykwer
Three different versions of Fratres, and Cantus in Memory Bejamin Britten are performed in this film.
Not available from AMAZON.CO.UK

LITTLE ODESSA

1996 | James Gray
This film features the Sanctus from the Berlin Mass and Silouans Song.

MOTHER NIGHT

1996 | Keith Gordon
Cantus in Memory Benjamin Britten is performed by the Bournemouth Sinfonietta; Fratres and Spiegel im Spiegel, performed by Tasmin Little and Martin Roscoe; and Tabula Rasa, performed by Gidon Kremer.
Not available from AMAZON.CO.UK

LESSONS OF DARKNESS

1991 | Werner Herzog
This film features Stabat Mater, which is also used for the Special Features section of the DVD.
Not available from AMAZON.CO.UK

THE LOVERS ON THE BRIDGE

1991 | Leos Carax
This film includes Cantus in Memory Benjamin Britten, a favourite piece in films that feature Arvo Pärt's music.
Not available from AMAZON.CO.UK

ST. JOHN PASSION

1988 | Arthaus Musik
This account of Jesus Christ's death is recounted by Arvo Pärt in a very minimalistic light. His Passio is performed here by The Hilliard Ensemble and recorded in Durham Cathedral.