Baiba Skride – Eller: Violin Concerto, Fantasy, Symphonic Legend & Symphony No. 2 (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:07:14 minutes | 1,17 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front cover | © Ondine
With a career spanning two thirds of the 20th century, Estonian composer Heino Eller (1887-1970) can be rightfully considered as one of the founders of the country’s national musical style. His style remains resolutely tonal while taking on board the influences of French impressionism, German expressionism, and of course Edvard Grieg and Jean Sibelius, but also a certain “nationalism” in the choice of themes. At the outset of his career in the 1920s, his country had been liberated from the grip of the Russian Empire before falling back into the hands of the USSR in 1940. In those twenty years, a feeling of a distinct Estonian culture developed.
His Violin Concerto got off to a bumpy start: written in 1934, revised three years later, it had to wait until 1965 for its world première – conducted by a young Neeme Järvi, its recording was organised by a young Arvo Pärt, a follower of Eller – but only in an abridged form. This recording gives us the score in full.
The Symphonic Legend of 1923, substantially revised in 1936, was a kind of calling card for the composer: it contains all the possible influences he could have fit into it, from Ravel to Debussy, Sibelius and even Hollywood. This is the first ever release on CD. The 1948 Second Symphony was never finished, likely due to the pressure of the USSR and the infamous Zhdanov, whose decrees silenced many artists. The movement which has survived to this day, troubling and violent at times, doesn’t really represent a smiling Socialist Realism, and – worse still – seems to evoke a Baltic national consciousness, which couldn’t have pleased the dictatorship’s policemen…
1. Violin Concerto in B Minor 23:16
2. Symphonic Legend 23:54
3. Fantasy in G Minor 06:18
4. Symphony No. 2: I. Andante – Allegro molto 13:44
Baiba Skride, viloin
Estonian National Symphony Orchestra
Olari Elts, conductor