Author Topic: Lepo Sumera  (Read 14676 times)

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Offline Wanderer

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Lepo Sumera
« on: October 19, 2007, 08:17:02 PM »
I've listened to his piano concerto the other day on the radio and was mightily impressed, performed by the Estonian SO (unfortunately I can't recall the name of the - brilliant - pianist). The work gave the impression of a powerful mixture of Shostakovich and Bartok in their best fiery moments of incandescent passion.

Any opinions, insights and/or recommendations on this Estonian composer? A new name to me, that made a powerful first impression.

Offline BachQ

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2007, 04:45:07 AM »
Lepo Sumera has also composed 4 symphonies which may merit discovery ......

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2007, 09:41:47 AM »
Lepo Sumera has also composed 4 symphonies which may merit discovery ......

I have always liked the increasing movement numbers:

Symphony no.1: 2 movements
Symphony no.2: 3 movements
Symphony no.3: 4 movements
Symphony no.4: 5 movements

The syms are decent. I don't really like this style very much ("heavenly" bells, "tranquillo" and "spiritoso" movement markings - risks becoming wiffle music IMO), but despite that I find no.2 quite good, and not overly long.

Edit: Another thing that I forgot - a while ago when investigating this composer, after having heard his orchestral music, I was searching for any discs of chamber music. I found one, but it was really not very promising - it looked like lots of little scraps, rather than substantial pieces in the usual forms. I hope somebody else can add something more positive about the composer.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 09:52:42 AM by Lethe »
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m_gigena

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2007, 10:27:40 AM »
It might have been this cd.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2007, 10:50:06 AM »
The disc I heard the PC on (and symphony no.4) was this:



Nothing to complain about with playing/recording.
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2007, 11:45:39 AM »
Lepo Sumera has also composed 4 symphonies which may merit discovery ......

Actually he composed six symphonies-unless, of course, you mean that he has composed 4 symphonies "which may merit discovery" and 2 that don't(which I suspect you don't!)

No.5 (in one continuous movement of 33 minutes) dates from 1995 and was commissioned by the Malmo Symphony Orchestra and recorded by that orchestra conducted by Paavo Jarvi(BIS CD-770). No.6 is in two movements and dates from 2000. It too has been recorded by BIS(CD-1360); this time Paavo Jarvi conducts the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. Very sadly, it was the last music that Sumera wrote before his untimely death at the age of 50.

I do respect and sometimes admire Sumera's music.

Offline BachQ

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2007, 12:04:27 PM »
Actually he composed six symphonies-unless, of course, you mean that he has composed 4 symphonies "which may merit discovery" and 2 that don't(which I suspect you don't!)

I should have said that he composed "no less than 4 symphonies ........." because I really wasn't sure of the total number .........  No. 4 was the highest number I was aware of .........


Very sadly, it was the last music that Sumera wrote before his untimely death at the age of 50.

Is there such a thing as a "timely" death?

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2007, 12:21:10 PM »
I should have said that he composed "no less than 4 symphonies ........." because I really wasn't sure of the total number .........  No. 4 was the highest number I was aware of .........


Is there such a thing as a "timely" death?

Oh..interesting point!! Yes, I think that there may be. If, for example, an individual was suffering agonizing pain with no chance of recovery then one might argue that death was "timely". This is not an argument necessarily in favour of euthenasia but a relief from the suffering being endured.

When any person dies at a relatively early age with-hopefully-a great deal of unfulfilled potential for further achievement in whatever field of life then I would call that death "untimely".

Sumera could have given us a great deal more had he lived longer.

Offline BachQ

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2007, 01:13:16 PM »
Oh..interesting point!! Yes, I think that there may be. If, for example, an individual was suffering agonizing pain with no chance of recovery then one might argue that death was "timely". This is not an argument necessarily in favour of euthenasia but a relief from the suffering being endured.

In that case, the death may have been "timely," but the onset of the terminal illness was not "timely" ......   :P

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2007, 01:41:51 PM »
In that case, the death may have been "timely," but the onset of the terminal illness was not "timely" ......   :P

Absolutely!! Quite agree!

Offline BachQ

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2007, 02:27:00 PM »
Happily, since this thread was authored by Wanderer, he won't mind that we've "wandered" far afield from his very specific thread topic!  :D

Offline Daverz

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2007, 03:58:39 PM »
I did not like the Mushroom Cantata at all, but I like everything else I've heard.

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2007, 08:14:43 PM »
It might have been this cd.

Indeed, Manuel, I believe that's the one...
It seems, though, that it's out of print. The BIS issue mentioned by Lethe seems to be the only issue readily available at the moment. More insights about these recordings would be most welcome!

Happily, since this thread was authored by Wanderer, he won't mind that we've "wandered" far afield from his very specific thread topic!  :D

Quite right, D.  :) Off-topic wandering is condoned, as long as one can find the way back again later.  :D




Offline Lethevich

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2007, 02:10:09 AM »
The BIS issue mentioned by Lethe seems to be the only issue readily available at the moment. More insights about these recordings would be most welcome!

I have not heard the other disc, so cannot compare them, but I can recommend the BIS disc quite strongly. Järvi is often considered without insight or much interest in standard repertoire, but with such unknown works as Sumera, his "middle-road" conducting and good orchestral playing is welcome. Plus, BIS is incapable of poor recording sound, so there's nothing to complain about :)
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2007, 02:30:26 AM »
Sumera's Second Symphony is a great work in my view; certainly my favourite. Eloquent and oddly moving at the end, I strongly recommend it. There was a great CD with Salonen conducting (with Fearful Symmetries and Chairman Dances by John Adams) but it seems to have gone. You can get symphonies 1-3 on Bis. There is also an interesting CD of Sumera's film music (Antes label).
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Offline BachQ

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2007, 07:01:24 AM »
I did not like the Mushroom Cantata at all, but I like everything else I've heard.

My curiosities about the Mushroom Cantata have now been invigorated .......

Offline Maciek

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2009, 01:51:34 PM »
Not sure why I never joined the chat... Anyway, I've been recently relistening to all of the Sumera I have and found the Cello Concerto to be quite rewarding.

Offline jowcol

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2010, 02:16:36 PM »
Sumera's Second Symphony is a great work in my view; certainly my favourite. Eloquent and oddly moving at the end, I strongly recommend it. There was a great CD with Salonen conducting (with Fearful Symmetries and Chairman Dances by John Adams) but it seems to have gone. You can get symphonies 1-3 on Bis. There is also an interesting CD of Sumera's film music (Antes label).

I just got around to picking up  the symphonies 1-3 disc, and for some reason started with 2.  I haven't gotten past it-- I'm on my fifth lesson.  It seems to have some of the better qualities of the minimalists and post minimalists,  but also tells a most eloquent story. 

(Jeffrey- would you say it has an elegiac, or valedictory quality at the end?)

Anyway-- a lovely and haunting work. I'll need to check out the others-- after a few more listens of #2.

"If it sounds good, it is good."
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2010, 05:19:56 AM »
I just got around to picking up  the symphonies 1-3 disc, and for some reason started with 2.  I haven't gotten past it-- I'm on my fifth lesson.  It seems to have some of the better qualities of the minimalists and post minimalists,  but also tells a most eloquent story. 

(Jeffrey- would you say it has an elegiac, or valedictory quality at the end?)

Anyway-- a lovely and haunting work. I'll need to check out the others-- after a few more listens of #2.

I think that Symphony No 2 is great - a very exciting and compelling work. How can I describe the ending? Well, 'elegiac' or even 'valedictory' comes to mind  ;D Pity that the fine Salonen CD is so expensive now.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2010, 06:25:23 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Elnimio

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Re: Lepo Sumera
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2011, 08:16:07 PM »
The piano concerto is quite majestic.