Notes and Editorial Reviews
Legend II. Night. Dance of the Elves
. Prelude. Idyll.
The Melancholy Garden.
Piccola Marcia. The Mysterious Forest. The Witch. Fire Dance. Fantasia apocaliptica
Jean Dubé (pn)
BNL 112970 (78:42)
To put this Finnish composer in historical context, Erkki Melartin was born
10 years after Sibelius, and his life span, 1875 to 1937, was, to the day, the same as that of Ravel. Stylistically, though, he is a generation behind those two giants, sounding more like a contemporary of Grieg. Perhaps it has something to do with those long, dark Finnish winters, but whatever the reason, most of the relatively short, salon-like pieces on this program are melancholic and almost exclusively written in a minor key. Melartin’s craftsmanship is admirable, filled with florid passagework, but his emotional impact is rather superficial, or perhaps to put it more favorably, direct. The major exception is the
that concludes the CD, written in 1921, a single movement work of high energy and dense texture. The music, which is reminiscent of the harmonic language of Reger and late Scriabin, wears its ambitions on the sleeve, bristling with angry arpeggios and dissonant clusters of notes, but without much depth. But as with all of the material here, the writing is certainly virtuosic, and this neglected composer, who was apparently very prolific (he wrote symphonies, string quartets, a violin concerto, a ballet, etc.) probably deserves a corner of the Scandinavian musical legacy. French pianist Jean Dubé plays earnestly, if not with the last degree of elegance.
FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
Works on This Recording
Tulitanssi by Erkki Melartin
Jean Dubé (Piano)
Be the first to review this title