Third ECM recording by Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür. The Violin Concerto, written for Isabelle van Keulen, and the two orchestral works “Aditus” and “Exodus” are world premiere recordings. All are powerful experiences, reflecting the new physicality of Tüür’s compositions. Major performances of all three works have taken place in 2003, including the Violin Concerto at the London Proms (a major success). Tüür’s music continues to gain critical and popular acclaim, and this release is eagerly anticipated.
For some years now Erkki-Sven Tüür has been routinely described as the leading Estonian composer. With this disc he not only justifies that label but lays claim to wider recognition. Composed in 1998, his 35-minute three-movement Violin Concerto launches straight in with manic arpeggiati from the soloist that would not be out of place in a concerto by Ligeti - except that the gestures are more for the sake of expressive immediacy than for virtuoso game-playing. ... If anything the strongest affinity I detect is with Per Nørgård; not just because of the spiralling patterns, the occasional microtones and the metaphors of light and dark that Tüür's textures bring to mind, but because like the Dane he has become progressively more interested in the in-between processes of his music, rather than in its individual ideas. That makes for challenging listening; but when the sense of continuity and purpose is so strong, the rewards are great. This is music that is exhilaratingly open to experience, without ever lapsing into silliness or cheap thrills.Enormous responsibility is placed on the soloist, and Isabelle van Keulen shoulders it superbly. Both here and in the two equally recent orchestral studies (of which "Exodus" brings strong reminders of Tüür's early activities as a rock musician) Paavo Järvi has the CBSO playing as though the music has always been in their blood. The recording captures the full range of Tüür's orchestral colours, and the booklet includes an illuminating interview with the composer as well as helpful descriptive notes.
David Fanning, Gramophone