Author Topic: Estonian composers  (Read 8444 times)

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Offline Maciek

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Estonian composers
« on: July 14, 2008, 04:33:29 PM »
Seems to be the most popular of the three Baltic nations on GMG these days. As many as four composers have their own threads:

Arvo Pärt's asylum.
(and Arvo Part - Pro et Contra Cello Concerto!)

Lepo Sumera

Tüür's Tonic Triforium

Eduard Tubin (1905-82)

Other names that spring to mind (well, perhaps "spring" is not the best word... ::)): Veljo Tormis and Helena Tulve.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2008, 11:53:57 PM »
Other names that spring to mind (well, perhaps "spring" is not the best word... ::)): Veljo Tormis and Helena Tulve.

Just you wait for Christo, Maciek. He'll come up with dozens...  ;D
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Christo

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2008, 12:32:38 AM »
Just you wait for Christo, Maciek. He'll come up with dozens...  ;D

Christo calling.  8) No, why should I start name-dropping here? I only met a handful (Tormis, Sumera, among them) and didn't find time to play most of them since the 1990s. A special interest in Estonian composers largely resulted from the Tubin revival in the 1980s, started by conductor Neeme Järvi. Tubin, Tormis and Pärt are still my personal favourites among the Estonians. That's all, folks!  :)
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2008, 03:17:38 AM »
My favourites:

Kaljo Raid Symphony 1 (a great work!) on Chandos.

Tubin, all the symphs but especially nos 1,2,3,4,5,10.

Lepo Sumera, Symphony 2.
"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).

Offline Maciek

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2008, 09:54:26 PM »
Kaljo Raid Symphony 1 (a great work!) on Chandos.

Never heard of that. Will have to seek it out. You mean the "Music from Estonia" 2-disc set?

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2008, 10:09:14 PM »
Never heard of that. Will have to seek it out. You mean the "Music from Estonia" 2-disc set?

Must be. Sounds interesting...

(Vandermolen is on holiday in Austria, btw.)
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2008, 12:47:37 AM »
The best two Estonian composers are still missing:

Jaan Raats (or Rääts)

Rene Eespere

Both recorded on a few CDs, so check them out!

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008, 02:23:51 AM »
The best two Estonian composers are still missing:

Jaan Raats (or Rääts)

Rene Eespere

Both recorded on a few CDs, so check them out!

I had only heard of Raats as "the Estonian Hindemith" with eight "competent" symphonies to his name.

However...check out this video of his Double Concerto for flute, guitar and orchestra in a rehearsal sequence from Baden-Baden, presumably in the presence of the composer-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTxidE-R_Rk

I had expected something light-flute and guitar combination- but it sounds VERY different! Demented Chinese Bells...but that might be the sound quality!!  Hm, interesting!

Offline Maciek

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2008, 02:45:51 AM »
Rats! It seems there may be more to Estonian contemporary music than I thought!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2008, 12:55:46 PM »
Never heard of that. Will have to seek it out. You mean the "Music from Estonia" 2-disc set?

Yes, absolutely. You have to hear this if you like Tubin; a great work.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2008, 12:58:45 PM 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).

Offline Maciek

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2008, 02:16:55 AM »
It's now on my wishlist. :)

springrite

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2008, 03:23:47 AM »
It's now on my wishlist. :)

Good choice. This is a great introduction CD for sampling Estonian music. also, Raid is my second most favorite Estonian composer, behind Tubin but ahead of the far more famous Part.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2008, 03:33:12 AM »
Heino Eller....anyone??

Teacher of Raid, Part and Sumera.

springrite

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2008, 03:37:58 AM »
Heino Eller....anyone??

Teacher of Raid, Part and Sumera.

Eller is on that compilation as well!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2008, 04:51:12 AM »
Heino Eller....anyone??

Teacher of Raid, Part and Sumera.

Yes (are you suprised? ;D); a fine composer. I have "Dawn" and "Twilight" on Chandos, fine tone poems+ a good CD with the Violin Concerto. The beautiful "Five Pieces for String Orchestra" were used in a moving documentary I saw on TV about the First World War. The more I think about it the double Chandos CD "Music from Estonia" is a must buy.
"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).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2008, 08:21:40 AM »
I should have added, of course, that Eller was also the teacher of Tubin. I wonder if Eller's three symphonies sound anything like Tubin's!

There is also an ECM disc with Eller's Sinfonietta and Lyrical Suite-as well as the Elegy for Strings and Harp and the Five Pieces for String Orchestra-played by the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2008, 11:19:11 PM »
I have just listened to Kaljo Raid's First Symphony - wonderful work. Raid has the epic and lyrical qualities Tubin shows in his Second and Fourth. When was this work composed? (Download = no liner notes.)

The most magical harmonic twist, to me, occurs in the final movement, at 7:21, just after the big fanfare.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Christo

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2008, 01:13:28 AM »
I have just listened to Kaljo Raid's First Symphony - wonderful work. Raid has the epic and lyrical qualities Tubin shows in his Second and Fourth. When was this work composed? (Download = no liner notes.)

The most magical harmonic twist, to me, occurs in the final movement, at 7:21, just after the big fanfare.

Didn't play it for a couple of years, but I used to be an enthusiast in the past, when I discovered it. Shall certainly play it again, this evening!

It was composed in the fateful year of 1944, when the composer was just 22! It shows its times: epic and tragic, very much in the vein of Tubin who did similar things under similar circumstances. Like Tubin, Raid escaped to Sweden in the same year, 1944, and later became a Baptist minister (!) in Canada.

When in the Summer of 1993 I accidentally met another Estonian emigré in a ferry to the Estonian island of Hiumaa, also a Baptist minister and a friend of Raid, I had the happy opportunity to give him my compliments and tell about my admiration for his youthful work.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2008, 01:14:48 AM »
Nice story.  :)
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Estonian composers
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2008, 11:00:44 AM »
I played the Raid Symphony again yesterday. I love the ending, which reminded me of a more affirmitive version of the end of Rachmaninov's First Symphony.In the case of Rachmaninov the whole thing finally topples into the abyss at the end having teetered on the brink of doing so for some time.
"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).