17 April 2016

Kevad Tallinnas

Thanks to the world of twitter I was able to discover Klassika Raadio's online portal, which has allowed me to listen to a wonderful concert in Tallinn that happened on Friday. The concert is with the Eesti Riiklik Sumfooniaorkester under the wonderful baton of Anu Tali.

The concert featured five Estonians, Maria Korvits, Mari Vihmand, Mirjam Tally, Ulo Krigul, and Lepo Sumera; and for me this concert was a good chance to hear Estonian composers that had slipped past my radar.

The concert started with Maria Korvits's Langedes ulespoole, taeva kaarjasse kaussi for symphony orchestra and was premiered in the concert. The work hypnotically circles on itself growing organically and reaches really rich magical colours. Admittedly at times it felt a bit too close to the wonderful Helena Tulve, but still a nice treat for my ears.

Following this was Mari Vihmand's Floreo, a work written in 1996 and was the eldest work in the programme. In short it was gorgeous. Really sumptuous and glorious, it left me rather stunned in my tiny little flat. Definitely need to find more of Mari Vihmand!

Then after this came Mirjam Tally's Erosioon for cello, symphony orchestra, and electronics. The work was intensive and driving, a really clever use of the soloist and the electronics. The opening grunt of the cello instantly shouted 'listen to me!', this brutal work was thrilling. The soloist was always in control and from what I could hear must have been enjoying themselves throughout. This was definitely the most original and purposeful pieces in the concert. A composer who not only knows what they want to say and shouts it at you while throttling you will always get high praise from me.

Ulo Kirgul's Understandards for vocal ensemble and orchestra had a certain charm to it. Estonian Voices were in solid control of what they had to sing. It was playful and fun, the connection to jazz at times was a bit crass and tacky but it all made sense and fitted to itself. Not for me, but a nicely crafted work. Admittedly after living in the Baltic during the winter, I did heavily consider the text 'You think you've seen the sun?' very true statement indeed.

The finale was Lepo Sumera's symphony no. 6. A monumental and powerful work. Sumera is a composer I have been meaning to get round to discussing this marvelous composer. The symphony is dark brooding and powerful. Out of the darkness comes moments of beauty brighter than anything I can think of. Anu Tali really made a wonderful interpretation of this magnificent piece, at no point did I feel it was a conductor playing contemporary pieces, she almost fooled me into thinking this work is one of the most standard pieces of repertoire; Bravo Anu Tali!

This concert was a wonderful eye opener for me and I shall definitely keep an eye fixed on it so I can listen to more wonderful concerts in Estonia. For those curious about the concert listen to it here. Admittedly I am unsure how long it will stay online, but I hope it stays on long enough for many people to find it and fall in love with it!

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