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Classique - Released October 4, 2019 | Ondine

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This second volume in a series dedicated to the orchestral works of Heino Eller by the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra under conductor Olari Elts is a ground-breaking introduction to one of the founders of the Estonian school of music. The present volume consists of Eller’s symphonic poems and contains some of Eller’s earliest symphonic works, including one of his most well-known works, Dawn (Koit). © Ondine
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Classique - Released October 4, 2019 | Ondine

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Hannu Lintu here takes a stand against Paavo Berglund’s legendary version in Bournemouth, the very first of the discography recorded in 1970. Kullervo is a piece of work generally considered epic, a style not often explored by the Finnish composer, who had returned to Vienna at the beginning of the 1890s where he was able to submerge himself in Bruckner and discover some composers of the new generation. Here, Hannu Lintu dares to offer up a serene interpretation, with moderate contrasts in both the emphasis and the tone. For him, Kullervo stays within the defined category of Austro-hungarian music, even if it remains a singularly unique piece of music, as it does not demonstrate much of the modern and cutting-edge Sibelius which broke out from the 4 Legends of Kalevala and certainly over the course of the 1900s after the Second Symphony. Hannu Lintu privileges the ensemble line with regular post-Bruckner-esque balances, organised around polyphony, all the while underlining the freedom which escapes from the young Sibelius’ woodwind motifs. He also appears to snub typically runic Finnish popular influences, which notably guide the whole Introduction, an Allegro which is perfectly moderato. Kullervo transforms into a vast lyrical poem, meditative but somber (there are essences of the Violin concerto). From this vision are born some incredibly poetic moments, like in the third episode (Kullervo and his sister) as the choir sing their last lines just before the soprano (Johanna Rusanen, what a husky tone!) and the baritone (Ville Rusanen) begin their respective narratives, themselves just as astonishing in their dramatic power. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Classique - Released September 13, 2019 | Ondine

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With their album dedicated to Psalms of Repentance by Alfred Schnittke, and two works by Arvo Pärt (BIS), this same line-up won some fine prizes (Diapason d'Or, Gramophone). Kaspars Putniņš leads the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir as they continue on their way through the works of Arvo Pärt with four very seductive scores (including the choral version of Summa): they are starting here, and this forms an ideal introduction to the programme's most major work, which is surely Via Crucis, S. 53 by Franz Liszt, an ample score for piano and choir finished in 1879 in Budapest, recordings of which are all too rare. The voices of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir are sublime here, possessed of an enrapturing depth and purity. This Via Crucis is a perfect summary of the later, most modern Liszt: the writing for piano "comes" directly from the final part of the Years of Pilgrimage. There are such striking similarities with pieces like Angelus! Prière aux anges gardiens or the Sursum corda that one might well wonder whether certain pages from Via Crucis (number 12, Jesus stirbt am Kreuze, for example) aren't in fact elaborations from these. In this work, Franz Liszt is developing astoundingly modern harmonies, which draw out a naked form of Wagner's chromatisms, rarefying them: all the more so given that pianist Kalle Randalu tends to put the accent on their dryness. This is the essence of the end of Romanticism, in an absolutely hypnotic record. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz
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Concertos pour violon - Released September 13, 2019 | Ondine

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