Tõnu Kõrvits: Mirror

Tõnu Kõrvits: Mirror

by Tõnu Kõrvits


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Tõnu Kõrvits: Mirror

With Estonia's Arvo Pärt ascending to the status of elder statesman of Baltic minimalism, several composers have been jockeying for position (if one is permitted to use such a term in such essentially spiritual surroundings) to supplant him. Among them is Tõnu Kõrvits, a student not of Pärt, but of a lesser-known figure in the Estonian choral tradition, Veljo Tormis. As such, Kõrvits writes music that seems to hang between minimalism and an earlier world of compact, tonal choral music. The two large works here, the string orchestra "Labyrinths" and "Seven Dreams of Seven Birds," for the unusual combination of cello, choir, and orchestra, are not vast minimalist landscapes, but consist of short movements that introduce a few ideas, and in the case of the "Labyrinths," circle back to where they started. The role of Anja Lechner's cello, not exactly in dialogue with its companions, but walking beside them and offering commentary, is unique, and it's the "Seven Dreams" that you might sample for the flavor of the whole at its best. Also unusual is the "Plainland Song" (track 9), featuring the kannel, an Estonian zither played by the composer himself. As usual with the minimalists, the physical space of the performance is an important part of the whole, and the Tallinn Methodist Church, a venue with considerable emotional resonance for Estonians (the fine booklet notes by Paul Griffiths go into more detail), is splendidly captured by Kõrvits, Manfred Eicher, and the rest of the ECM engineering team. Recommended for those interested in new developments in the successful Baltic scene.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/13/2016
Label: Ecm Records
UPC: 0028948123032
catalogNumber: 00248550
Rank: 283305


  1. Song (Laul), version for cello & string orchestra
  2. Reflections from a Plain Land (Peegeldused tasasest maast), for chorus & cello
  3. Labyrinths (Labürindid), for chamber orchestra
  4. Seven Dreams of Seven Birds (Seitsme linnu seitse und), for cello, chorus & string orchestra

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