Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Erkki-Sven Tuur, Paavo Järvi, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra|
Erkki-Sven Tüür: Exodus
Listen to Samples
A fantastic violin concerto & 2 energetic orchestral works
R. Hutchinson | a world ruled by fossil fuels and fossil minds | 06/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Erkki-Sven Tuur is an Estonian composer whose ambitious project is to synthesize the post-serialist and post-minimalist tendencies in contemporary classical music. If that wasn't enough, he is also increasingly incorporating elements from his early 1980s background leading a progressive rock group -- his latest Symphony No. 5 includes electric guitar! Given my view that most minimalism ranges from harmlessly pretty to painfully boring to hideously ugly, I wasn't encouraged by Tuur's inclinations, and so I haven't finally heard his music until now.
It's one of those "on the one hand, on the other hand" stories -- on the one hand, there is plenty of ferocious intelligence in these works, performed magnificently by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, led by fellow Estonian Paavo Jarvi, and Isabelle van Keulen on violin. The concerto especially, the longest work in three movements totalling nearly 35 minutes, is outstanding, with strong virtuoso passages for violin and a series of diverse structures and moods. Unfortunately, in the title piece "Exodus," Glass-like arpeggios pour from the string section in the long main segment building up to a fortissimo roar. The overall conception is clearly not minimalist, but Tuur seems to have taken minimalism's linear repetitive drive on board these energetic works as part of their motor. The forward momentum of "Aditus" and "Exodus" is bracing, but I could do without the echoes of Glass. "Exodus" works up to a crescendo, punctuated by a drum kit, and then subsides, culminating in a quiet, mystical coda reminiscent of Arvo Part (of course, also Estonian). So Tuur seems to incorporate Eastern holy minimalism as well as Western (New York City) minimalist influences.
Lest the wrong impression be created, let me repeat that these are NOT minimalist works. Overall they are complex, dynamic, and stimulating, not mind-numbing. I look forward to repeated listening, and to future compositions from Tuur. The composer he is the most similar to is Magnus Lindberg of Finland. Lindberg, in his mature style, creates complex, energetic orchestral works not so different from Tuur, though thankfully without any repetitive arpeggios -- see my reviews of THE MUSIC OF MAGNUS LINDBERG and AURA.