Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

196

Nordic Symphony Orchestra, Anu Tali: Erkki-Sven Tüür: Strata

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
So much late-20th and early-21st Century classical music has a movie soundtrack quality about it. Replete with dramatic crescendos and sinister diminuendos, these extended compositions sound as if they are trying to tell a story in a language not spoken. While that paradox is obvious, the effect is not exclusive. The music may be enjoyed on many levels—and on several at one time.

It is then no mistake that Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür claims that his, "pieces are abstract dramas in sound, with individual characters and an extremely dynamic chain of events; unfolding in a space that is constantly shifting, expanding and contracting." And that is exactly how they sound. The composer describes his method as "vectoral"; one that concentrates more on sound and its production than on harmony, allowing the sound to drive the theme of the material rather than a traditional motif.

In this fifth New Series installment of Tüür's music, Estonian conductor Anu Tali draws from her Nordic Symphony Orchestra this thin, yet definable, creative distinction using two recent Tüür compositions, the Symphony No. 6 "Strata" (2007) and "Noesis, Concerto for clarinet, violin and orchestra" (2008), the former being dedicated to the conductor and orchestra.

Both compositions are single-movement, medium-length musical affairs, together clocking in at about 54 minutes. Both are studies in dynamics of sound and its volume and color. This is music of cold climes, crystalline in presentation and definition. Silence is as sharply demarcated and sound in these pieces. In the same instance, dynamic designations like piano, mezzo-piano and such bear little meaning as they change so fast, requiring a new dynamic nomenclature.

Symphony No. 6 is moody and anxious, modulating through undulating strings and and brash brass. The low horns often rule, establishing a firm bottom to the music. Tethered to that are the strings and reeds, each given enough expressive freedom to impress without becoming overwhelming. "Noesis" shares similar structural attributes with the Symphony, providing fertile ground from which the solo instruments may spring. Siblings Jorg and Carolin Widmann play the clarinet and violin respectively, sharing a perspective not unlike that experienced by Lara and Scott St. John, captured on their very fine Mozart recording.

This music is not for passive listening. Save that for baroque. Tüür demands and deserves attention for his efforts as they are finely shaped by the composers "vectoral" approach. This is sound on the cutting edge.

Track Listing: Symphony No. 6 (Strata); Noesis (Concerto for clarinet, violin and orchestra).

Personnel: Jorg Widman: clarinet; Carolin Widman: violin; Nordic Symphony Orchestra, Anu Tali.

Title: Erkki-Sven Tüür: Strata | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Bound CD/LP/Track Review Not Bound
by Don Phipps
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Territoires" CD/LP/Track Review Territoires
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "Après" CD/LP/Track Review Après
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 29, 2017
Read "Chasing the Unicorn" CD/LP/Track Review Chasing the Unicorn
by Paul Rauch
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "Fly Or Die" CD/LP/Track Review Fly Or Die
by John Sharpe
Published: July 10, 2017
Read "Known-Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Common Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Common Ground
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 16, 2017