Erkki-Sven Tuur: Oxymoron (ECM New Series/Ode)

 |   |  <1 min read

Erkki-Sven Tuur: Ardor Part III (Concerto for marimba and orchestra, 2001)
Erkki-Sven Tuur: Oxymoron (ECM New Series/Ode)

Contemporary classical music -- which often sounds like it comes from "elsewhere" -- sometimes gets a look in at these pages, especially if it is challenging. And this certainly is.

These four works by Estonian composer Tuur include a short piece for a male choir and an ensemble of clarinet, bassoon, trombone, percussion, oboe and so on; Ardor for marimba and orchestra (here the Estonian National Symphony); a short funereal work for violoncello and piano; and the 20-minute title piece for a large ensemble.

The opener suggests both a hymnal quality and the spare approach of Arvo Part; Ardor in three movements is tumultous, angrily percussive and quietly considered by turns; the urgent duet can be quite alarming in its sudden dramatic shifts but is also spacious and finds the pianist digging through the bowels the instrument; and the final piece opens like a pastoral suite in a barren icy landscape . . . and then the storm comes.

Frankly, I had never heard of Tuur but after this emotional slalom ride I concur with Martin Anderson of The International Record Review who wrote, "Tuur charges his scores with a primal energy that reaches past its textural complexity to speak directly to the listener. If you don't yet know his music, here's a fine place to start."

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Paloma Faith: Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? (Sony)

Paloma Faith: Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? (Sony)

For the past few months it seems to have been impossible to miss Pixie Lott: posters and interviews (none of which I've read I must admit), her poppet-features poking out of every corner of popular... > Read more

kd lang: Watershed (Nonesuch)

kd lang: Watershed (Nonesuch)

I read a curious review of this recently in which the writer said if you came to this expecting kd to return to her country roots you'd be very disapppointed. Why anyone would expect that of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Belfast, Northern Ireland: History by taxi

Belfast, Northern Ireland: History by taxi

Billy Scott is probably the most famous taxi driver in Belfast. He didn’t tell me this -- he was too busy telling me other things -- and I only found out later he’d appeared on... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Bee Gees; One Night Only (Universal)

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Bee Gees; One Night Only (Universal)

Although older brother Barry has long been the one with health issues (crippling arthritis for over a decade), it seems strange and sad that his three brothers -- first Andy, then Maurice and more... > Read more