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Allar Kaasik - Timeless Light: Estonian Cello Works (2017)

Classic | Author: SELMER | 6-04-2018, 10:41
Allar Kaasik - Timeless Light: Estonian Cello Works (2017)
Artist: Allar Kaasik
Title Of Album: Timeless Light: Estonian Cello Works
Year Of Release: 2017
Label: BIS
Country: Estonia
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (image + .cue, log, artwork)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 80:54 min
Full Size: 312 MB


Galina Grigorjeva (b. 1962)
[1] Prayer (Version for Cello & Male Choir)

Kuldar Sink (1942–95)
[2] Lord Have Mercy on Us (Completed A. Kaasik)

Tonu Korvits (b. 1969)
[3]-[6] Excerpts from Seitsme linnu seitse und (Seven Dreams of Seven Birds)

Arvo Part (b. 1935)
[7]-[9] Pro et contra, concerto for cello and orchestra (1966)

Galina Grigorjeva
[10]-[12] Recitativo accompagnato

Erkki-Sven Tuur
[13] Spectrum IV for cello and organ (2004)

You get your money’s worth here: Estonia’s flagship orchestra, two of the finest choirs in the Baltics (and, therefore, the world), some truly delicious organ-playing – all that on what is really a disc of cello music. Allar Kaasik has assembled an album of contemporary works for his instrument that offers a more varied view than usual of Estonia’s contemporary music scene. He writes in the booklet that any music played in a church takes on the guise of ‘Holy Service’ and the pacing of his disc has a ritualistic concentration. But the ambiguity of that phase ‘holy service’ also describes a listening experience with one foot in the spirituality of worship and another in that of humanity and politics.

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The recording of Arvo Part’s Pro et contra (1966) was made for Melodiya in Soviet times. I have never heard Part like this: frantic and dissonant, almost suffocating before it stumbles (awkwardly, it has to be said) into a culminating chorale. In Tonu Korvits’s musical fairy tale Seven Dreams of Seven Birds the accompanying ensemble is not orchestra but choir. The selection of four ‘dreams’ here preserves the narrative but presents a journey in texture too, ending in exhaled exchanges between the constituent parts.

Galina Grigorjeva’s Prayer imagines male voices as a heavenly choir high up while Kaasik’s cello kneels at an altar; the Slavic thickness of the composer’s choral writing (she was born in Ukraine) is pitted against the cello’s (originally a saxophone) incantations. Her solo cello piece Recitativo accompagnato is a penetrating work with an unsettling ending and we also hear an unaccompanied work by Kuldar Sink, many of whose works were destroyed in the fire that killed him too. His Lord, have mercy on us is a fervent piece, not without humour, that finds the light of the major in its final breath.

Most resonant of all is Erkki-Sven Tuur’s Spectrum IV for cello and organ, which acknowledges that a cello can never play a duet with a large church’s organ unless the acoustic consciously acts as a musical intermediary. Rooted in a murmuring pedal note, this highly concentrated piece rises up monstrously before ‘ascending to heaven’ via the portal of an extraordinary organ chord, magically registered by Kristine Adamaite. Kaasik’s playing sounds like an extension of his voice, nothing less and nothing more. One for repeat – or ritualistic – listening. ~ Gramophone

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