Tõnu Kõrvits: Hymns to the Nordic Lights
Erkki-Sven Tüür: Ardor – Concerto for Marimba;
Eduard Tubin: Symphony No. 7
What is the magic of the northern lights all about? What are the Estonians like when they feel passionate? How many cows is a piano worth? These questions will all be answered at the Bridging Europe festival’s contemporary concert, which could have no better conductor than the Estonian Olari Elts.
There is a sweeping energy in the way Elts conducts the orchestra, with intense movements and exacting delivery. The concert this evening begins with the enchanting music of the Estonian composer Tõnu Kõrvits. Join him for a hypnotic journey to fantastic lands! His Hymns to the Nordic Lights opens up this magically pulsating natural phenomenon through the eyes and soul of one man.
The Portuguese Pedro Carneiro stands out among musicians: he is one of very few to have achieved international recognition as a percussion soloist. His playing is all fire, dexterity and emotion. Erkki-Sven Tüür has composed a showy piece for him. In his concerto for marimba, entitled Ardor, the orchestra is not simply the accompaniment; they come together to then disrupt one another, or at times “translate” the words of the marimba.
A favourite of the Estonians, the composer unleashes opposites only to then smooth them over. Passion is the second movement of Tüür’s Action, Passion, Illusion, a piece in three movements for strings. Although the passion is revealed only gradually and gently, it eventually becomes all the more exalted.
Eduard Tubin was born in a small Estonian village, and owes his career in part to his father’s decision to trade in the family’s cow for a piano. He relied on a vast number of folk motifs in his works – which was something Zoltán Kodály also encouraged him to do. Leaving behind the influence of folk music, he fled to Sweden when the Soviets occupied Estonia. He then began to experiment with international trends. His Symphony No. 7, rarely performed and dark and dense in its atmosphere, is an example of this part of his oeuvre.