Fratres is one of the works written in 1977, during the creative explosion associated with the first emergence of tintinnabuli.
Fratres was initially composed as three-part music without fixed instrumentation, allowing it to be performed by various instruments. But Fratres also exists as three-part music with added variations for the solo instrument. The first among these was written for violin and piano and it was premiered in 1980 by Gidon Kremer and Elena Kremer. The technically demanding part of the solo instrument was added to the recurring three-part theme as a new layer, placing even more emphasis on the contrast between the changing and constant elements.
Today, the catalogue of Pärt’s works includes numerous versions of both Fratres for very different instrument combinations.
Fratres for violin
and piano (1980) UE 17 274
Fratres for cello and piano (1989) UE 19 563