Erkki-Sven Tüür: Ärkamine (Awakening)

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
For a country of its modest size, Estonia seems disproportionately packed with top-notch composers, Arvo Pärt being the most recognized internationally, but he is only one among many who are loaded with talent and have plenty so say. Erkki-Sven Tüür, born in 1959, started his career as a rock musician, but by his early thirties he had established himself as one of the country's brightest voices in composition. Like many of the Scandinavian and Baltic composers of the late 20th and 21st century, Tüür's music is characterized by a generous expansiveness, an eclectic harmonic language that draws willing listeners in, and an organic structure that's suggestive and evocative ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
For a country of its modest size, Estonia seems disproportionately packed with top-notch composers, Arvo Pärt being the most recognized internationally, but he is only one among many who are loaded with talent and have plenty so say. Erkki-Sven Tüür, born in 1959, started his career as a rock musician, but by his early thirties he had established himself as one of the country's brightest voices in composition. Like many of the Scandinavian and Baltic composers of the late 20th and 21st century, Tüür's music is characterized by a generous expansiveness, an eclectic harmonic language that draws willing listeners in, and an organic structure that's suggestive and evocative of natural processes. Like the work of Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, which it resembles in some ways, it is smart, appealing music that should engage listeners open to new sounds. "Ärkamine" Awakening, written in 2011, is the most substantial work on the album, a 36-minute piece for mixed choir and chamber orchestra. Using Latin texts related to Easter interspersed with Estonian poetry that deals with the human yearning for higher spiritual awareness experienced through immersion in the natural world, it weaves together idiomatic choral writing with radiant contemporary orchestral colors. "The Wanderer's Evening Song," an unaccompanied choral work, takes its texts from an assortment of poems by Estonian writer Ernst Enno that also address the interconnectedness of nature and spirituality. Its beginning reflects the meditative atmosphere of twilight using imagery of a northern forest, but it progresses toward a surging ecstasy of a soul's awakening, expressed in music of tremendous excitement, that recalls the powerful choral pulsing in Reich's "The Desert Music." Daniel Reuss draws gorgeous performances from the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Sinfonietta Riga, who sing and play with sumptuous tone and spacious expressiveness. Ondine's sound is full, warmly detailed, and realistically present. Highly recommended for fans of new orchestral and choral music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/15/2011
  • Label: Ondine
  • UPC: 761195118320
  • Catalog Number: 1183
  • Sales rank: 162,520

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Insula Deserta - Erkki-Sven Tüür & Reijo Kiilunen (8:49)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Daniel Reuss Primary Artist
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 28, 2011

    Erkki-Sven Tuur/Arkamine/The Wander/Insula Deserta/Ondine

    It is not this reviewer¿s intent to disparage the music of Mr. Tuur. He is a very capable Finnish composer who does have a consistency of style and lots of technique. I often wonder how much personal taste pollutes our perception but In my opinion (And I hardly trust my opinion), he is nowhere on the same plain as his fellow countryman Saariaho nor a dozen European composers that spring to mind. I¿m sure there are many who would think Mr. Tuur a top tier composer and I respect their opinion, so for arguments sake, ignore me. There would be a kind of concertgoer who would find his music accessible yet modern and not in anyway offensive. I personally wish he was way more offensive.

    The first cut is ¿Arkamine¿, for orchestra and chorus and opens promisingly with gorgeous open string arpeggiations with various spectral composer touches in the orchestration. The orchestration is beautifully handled throughout. It is just when the choral part starts it seems way too traditional for the orchestra part. After a while, I tried to imagine the choral part is a kind of dream from the past with all this creative orchestration and imaginative pitch choices floating around it. Yet I could only maintain that for so long. It reminded me a bit of Britten¿s later works (60¿s on), only Britten did it so much more convincingly in that the traditional part was so much fresher and musical.

    The second cut is ¿¿The Wander¿s Evening Song¿ for mixed chorus and opens with long sustain pedals with a Gregorian like melody around it. Sometimes the pedals
    Expand to pandiatonic ¿mush¿ chords, other times the sustains are more strident and dissonant. The piece gradually becomes more ¿tuney¿ in an Estonian pop way, and then closes by returning to the more somber Gregorian melody at the end. Again, I felt the music was overly accessible in a cheesy way.

    The final cut is ¿Insula Deserta¿ for orchestra and again it is an uncomfortable mixture of avant gardeish and traditional writing. Here the music seems to progress more from the modern to the tradition as its¿ kind of raison d¿être. Parts sound vaguely reminisant of John Adam¿s Shaker loops¿the two composers sharing an aesthetic of melding history with the progressive or accessibleness with serious intent. I am a fan of Adam¿s music but with Mr. Tuur-he panders too much to a pops- concert sensibility without a real, original voice. By the way, there is nothing wrong with accessibility.

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