Spiegel im Spiegel - Arvo Pärt

by Justin Bird

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Spiegel im Spiegel - Arvo Pärt
Transcribed for solo piano and performed by Justin Bird

Spiegel im Spiegel ('Mirror in the Mirror') is a piece of music written by Arvo Pärt in 1978, just before his departure from Estonia. The piece is in the tintinnabular style of composition, wherein a melodic voice, operating over diatonic scales, and tintinnabular voice, operating within a triad on the tonic, accompany each other.

The piece was originally written for a single piano and violin – though the violin has often been replaced with either a cello or a viola. Versions also exist for double bass, clarinet, horn, flugelhorn, flute, bassoon, trombone, and percussion. The piece is an example of minimal music.

"Spiegel im Spiegel" in German literally can mean both "mirror in the mirror" as well as "mirrors in the mirror", referring to an infinity mirror, which produces an infinity of images reflected by parallel plane mirrors: the tonic triads are endlessly repeated with small variations as if reflected back and forth. The structure of melody is made by couple of phrases characterized by the alternation between ascending and descending movement with the fulcrum on the note A. This, with also the overturning of the final intervals between adjacent phrases (for example, ascending sixth in the question - descending sixth in the answer), contribute to give the impression of a figure reflecting on a mirror and walking back and towards it.

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released July 27, 2017

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Justin Bird Omaha, Nebraska

Justin Bird is an award-winning classical pianist, teacher, tuner, collaborator, and arranger from New Zealand. His fresh interpretations include an affinity for underrated repertoire.

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