Tobias: Complete Organ Works / Teemets, Maidre

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Rudolf Tobias (1873–1918) founded the classical-music tradition in Estonia almost single-handedly, writing the first Estonian orchestral piece, the first Estonian string quartet, first Estonian piano concerto and the first Estonian oratorio, the monumental Des Jona Sendung, from which Ines Maidre has now transcribed for organ the blazingly powerful Sanctus. Although Tobias was himself an outstanding organist, he wrote little music for his own instrument and most of it is modest in scale, but its quirky craftsmanship reveals the hand of a master.


Rudolf Tobias (1873–1918) is credited with founding the classical music tradition in Estonia, having written the first Estonian orchestral piece, piano concerto, piano sonata, oratorio, and string quartet. He studied composition with Rimsky-Korsakoff and then had a wide-ranging career in Tartu, Paris, Munich, Dresden, and finally as Professor of Theory at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik. At the outbreak of war in 1914, he was drafted into the German army, serving as an interpreter. His health began to fail in 1916 and he was discharged, and died of pneumonia in October of 1918.

This program of his complete published organ works reveals a composer of well-crafted, pleasant liturgical “gebrauchsmusik” based on chorale tunes. It is all modest in scope, nothing lasting much over five minutes. It is unfortunate that he left nothing substantial for the organ, as he was considered an outstanding organist. The booklet contains notes on the composer and music as well as the specification of the 1913 Sauer organ (rebuilt in 1998) in the Dome Church (St Mary’s) in Tallinn, Estonia.

-- American Record Guide

Product Description:

  • Release Date: April 14, 2015

  • Catalog Number: TOCC0288

  • UPC: 5060113442888

  • Label: Toccata Classics

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Rudolf Tobias

  • Performer: Arete Teemets, Ines Maidre