Lorenzo Meo | Boundaries: Music by Jaan Rääts >> two pianos concert

Boundaries: Music by Jaan Rääts // two pianos concert


Jaan Rääts
24 Marginalia Op.68 for two pianos

Jaan Rääts
Sonata Op.82 for two pianos
I mouvement
II mouvement
III mouvement

music by Jaan Rääts

In the late Fifties, Arvo Pärt and Jaan Rääts gave a sudden boost to Estonian music, hitherto confined to popular tradition. They were the first composers to emerge beyond national borders. Besides the new challenges they introduced in the growth of their early musical culture, their production also played a key role in the history of Twentieth Century music.

From the same generation as Pärt though with divergent stylistic features compared to the "holy minimalism" composer, Jaan Rääts occupies a place alongside contemporary artists such as Steve Reich, Luciano Berio and Karlheinz Stockhausen. After studying with Heino Eller, he drew international attention with his 1961 Concert for chamber orchestra.

Typical of his work is a multi-style approach of neoclassical inspiration, combined with contemporary compositional techniques. Former President of the Estonian Composers Union (from 1974 to 1992), director of the Estonian national radio, art director of the Department of Music for the Estonian state television, and also a professor at the Estonian Music Academy in Tallinn, Rääts is an outstanding figure in Estonian music.

The 24 Marginalia for 2 pianos Op.68 somehow reflect the wealth of musical impressions that surround us. In an entirely personal way, Rääts composed these "marginal notes" like a kaleidoscope covering an incredible variety of styles, from baroque to rock.

The Sonata for 2 pianos Op.82  is, in contrast, a wider piece with plain neoclassic taste. The piece includes all of Rääts's stylistic features: fast rhythm, obsessive, persistent repetitions, and extreme lyricism replaced by violent, abrupt dissonances.