Notes and Editorial Reviews
Tõnu Kõrvits (b. 1969) is together with Arvo Pärt and Erkki-Sven Tüür among the most interesting Estonian composers of our time. This album by the Estonian NSO and Risto Joost consists of orchestral works written between a period of ten years, from 2007 to 2018. These works have been inspired by a variety of themes and are rich with delicate atmosphere possessing a particularly Northern feel combined with a romantic and Impressionistic touch. Azure and Leaving Capriare the most recent pieces of this album. First of the pieces is a transcription of a work which was originally written for the male choir. Leaving Capriis a homage to Estonian painter Konrad Mägi who is well-known for his colorful and sunny paintings of Italy’s landscape. Orchestral work Hymns to the Nordic Lights (2011) was premiered by Britten Sinfonia conducted by James MacMillan. This 5-movement suite evokes the magic of the Northern landscape with Nordic Lights. Silent Songs (2015) is a work of three pieces for bass-clarinet and orchestra where the soloist’s part is improvisatory, lyrical and meditative. Tears Fantasy (2011) is an orchestral fantasy dedicated to conductor Risto Joostand inspired by the work of English Renaissance composer John Dowland. Elegies of Thule (2007) is the earliest piece of the album, a suite for strings which is based on different folk tunes from Estonia. The result isa fascination combination of romanticism influenced by folk elements.
Performed and recorded to impeccable high standards, this is the kind of release that can restore your faith in the power of contemporary music. Tõnu Kõrvits’ voice is very much one that invites rather than repels the listener, creating gorgeous sounds to go along with imaginatively conceived and expressively grounded material. There’s plenty of depth and poetic emotion to get your teeth into, so sharpen your senses and dive in.
– MusicWeb International
The Estonian National SO play throughout with the greatest of conviction and the glossiest tone, driven on by Risto Joost’s unique understanding of Kõrvits’s work, and the recording is everything one would expect from Ondine.