Tubin, Bacewicz, & Lutosławski: Works for Orchestra / Järvi, Estonian Festival Orchestra

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For their fourth recording on Alpha Classics, Paavo Järvi and the Estonian Festival Orchestra - who bring together the best Estonian talent and leading musicians...

For their fourth recording on Alpha Classics, Paavo Järvi and the Estonian Festival Orchestra - who bring together the best Estonian talent and leading musicians from around the world each year in Pärnu - celebrate composers from Estonia and Poland, two nations closely connected by their history. Eduard Tubin (1905-1982) is a composer whose ten symphonies tower at the top of Estonian orchestral music. The same may be said about his stage works. World War II forced Tubin to emigrate to Sweden in 1944, where he spent the rest of his life. Suite from the ballet Kratt (Goblin) is based on Tubin’s ballet by the same name, which was also the first ballet in Estonian musical history… Musique funèbre by Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994), was composed in memory of Béla Bartók and its premiere commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Hungarian composer’s death. Bartók’s Orchestral Concerto inspired the Concerto for String Orchestra composed in 1948 by Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969). Ignored for many years, she is now one of Poland’s most popular female composers.

REVIEWS:

An imaginative program, played with conviction.

Paavo Järvi has long been a champion of the major Estonian composer Eduard Tubin (1905–1982). He gave us the first recording of Tubin’s last symphony, No. 11, and also recorded Symphony No. 5 with the Cincinnati Orchestra as a coupling for the Sibelius Second. More recently, Jarvi and his conductor-brother Kristian established the Estonian Festival, and with the Festival Orchestra Paavo has made exciting recordings of other Estonian composers, as well as Shostakovich.

This program consists of two works by Tubin: the suite from the ballet Kratt (The Goblin) and the Music for Strings (1962), along with the increasingly familiar Concerto for String Orchestra by Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz, and Witold Lutosławski’s early masterpiece, Musique funèbre, written in memory of Bartók.

Kratt, which has been recorded complete elsewhere, is a vibrant, colourful score with a hint of Petrushka about it. There is not a dull moment in the 25-minute suite Tubin assembled in 1961, nor in his Music for Strings, where Jarvi relishes the mysterious textures of the first movement.

He conducts a full-blooded, vigorous performance of Bacewicz’s piece, especially in the finale where the composer combines neat counterpoint with rhythmic punch. Finally, we get a searing rendition of Musique funèbre, where the parallels to Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta are underlined as a basis for exploration. Sound quality in this imaginative program is excellent.

-- Limelight

Paavo Järvi and the Estonian Festival Orchestra present music by Estonian composer Eduard Tubin (1905–1982), opening the program with a colorful and entertaining suite from the ballet Kratt (Goblin). The suite from the ballet Kratt (1961) is based on Tubin’s ballet of the same name. The idea for this work was born in 1938 after his return from Budapest, where he had presented his compositions to Zoltan Kodaly. Kodaly recommended that he pay greater attention to the use of folk tunes.

Tubin obtained material from the Estonian folklore archive and selected thirty folk songs and instrumental pieces as the basis for the ballet. In Estonian mythology, a kratt (goblin) is created by humans but brought to life by the devil. Influenced by evil forces, the Kratt flies through the air, leaving behind a glowing trail of fire as he accumulates treasures for his master. But in return, the master sells his soul to the devil.

The first performance of Kratt took place in Tallinn on February 24, 1944, on the founding day of the Estonian Republic. The ballet was performed only six times before the National Opera Estonia was destroyed on March 9 in a in a bombing raid by the Russian Soviet Army when Russia annexed Estonia.

The score fell victim to the fire, but the instrumental parts and piano reduction were safe. Tubin took them with him when he fled to Sweden in 1944, and made a new score. In 1961, he was commissioned by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra to compose the suite from the ballet. Tubin’s music for strings, which is no less tonally appealing, can also be heard, and Paavo Järvi lets it be played expressively.

Musique funèbre by Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski (1913–1994) was composed in memory of Bela Bartok. It is more of an homage than a lament or an elegy, and Järvi is wary of any sentimentality. Very exciting is the neoclassical Concerto for String Orchestra by Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz, played with bouncy momentum in the outer movements and sublime delicacy in the Andante.

-- Pizzicato



Product Description:


  • Release Date: June 23, 2023


  • UPC: 3701624510063


  • Catalog Number: ALPHA1006


  • Label: Alpha


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Period: 20th Century


  • Composer: Eduard Tubin, Grazyna Grażyna, Witold Lutosławski


  • Conductor: Paavo Järvi


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Estonian Festival Orchestra


  • Performer: Paavo Jarvi, Florian Donderer



Works:


  1. Kratt (Goblin) Suite

    Composer: Eduard Tubin

    Ensemble: Estonian Festivsl Orchestra

    Conductor: Paavo Järvi


  2. Concerto for Strings

    Composer: Grażyna Bacewicz

    Ensemble: Estonian Festivsl Orchestra

    Conductor: Paavo Järvi


  3. Music for Strings

    Composer: Eduard Tubin

    Ensemble: Estonian Festivsl Orchestra

    Conductor: Paavo Järvi


  4. Muzyka zalobna (Musique funebre)

    Composer: Witold Lutosławski

    Ensemble: Estonian Festivsl Orchestra

    Conductor: Paavo Järvi