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[...] piano lessons from the age of eight quickly led to keyboard improvisation, this progressing to notated composition by his early teens.3 At the Tallinn Conservatory (1957-63) he studied composition with Heino Eller (a pupil of Glazunov), who encouraged his exploration of the post-war avant-garde.4 During these years a number of his works were published, including piano pieces, a string quartet and two cantatas. Chant now seemed to offer a fresh way forward and he embarked on the study of liturgical music of all kinds, and the possibilities of unaccompanied melody.14 In time, this would bear fruit and the forthcoming series of predominantly devotional works would establish a new creative order governed by a highly distinctive method of his own, with an integral devotional message.15 But such a radical change of direction required a considerable period of gestation, and it was almost a decade before Fr Alina for piano (1976), the first of the 'tintinnabuli' works, was formulated.
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"A solitary genius: the establishment of Prt's technique (1958-68)"Please download to view full document