Lorenzo Meo | The E.P.M. Project >> piano recital

The E.P.M. Project // piano recital


Erkki-Sven Tüür
Piano Sonata (1985)
1. Presto
2. Lento
3. Allegro. Con moto

Jaan Rääts
Piano Sonata No.9, Op.76
I movement
II movement
III movement

Jaan Rääts
24 Estonian Preludes Op.80

Duration time: 70' 

The E.P.M. Project
the Estonian piano music project

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 adding  new challenges  to the course  of their early musical expression,  their production also played a significant role  in the history  of Twentieth Century music.

Jaan  Rääts, from the same generation as  Pärt  but with  divergent  stylistic  features  compared to the "holy minimalism" composer,  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 Concerto for  chamber orchestra. Typical  of his work  is a multi-style approach of neoclassical inspiration, matched  with  contemporary  composition techniques.

In the Sonata   Op.76  No.9 in three  movements, composed  in 1985, Rääts  nostalgically  recalls  Pärt's  introspective  minimalism while strongly emphasizing the percussive  qualities of the piano, which is a recurring feature  in most  of his compositions for this instrument.

Inspiration for the 24  Estonian  Preludes   Op.80  for piano  stems from a number of ancient  runic  themes,  the essential heritage  of ancient  music tradition  in Estonia. They  provide  a substantial  overview  of Rääts's musical universe: as in  Marginalia  for two  pianos - written seven  years earlier - the composer  wrote  a song  for each  key, often agitated  by expressive  dissonance and  repeated  rhythmic  ostinatos.

A Rääts's student, Sven-Errki Tüür  belongs  to the next generation (1959). He started out as a  progressive rock electronic guitarist and would always be deeply  influenced  by King  Crimson, Frank  Zappa  and Genesis. It was onlyin the late  Eighties that  Tüür  joined the Estonian  music scene as aprofessional composer: his catalog  was enriched with  symphonies, concertos and chamber music, while instrumental music  became  the core of his musical activity.

Tüür  uses a  wide range  of compositional techniques, ranging from  Gregorian chant  to minimalism, from  linear polyphony to micro-tonality, from Renaissance music  to  twelve-tone and "vectorial method",  his current  stylistic  paradigm. A distinctive feature of  his compositional style  is an obsessive  contrast of  differing  elements and  techniques: tonality and  atonality,regular  repetitive  rhythms  and  complex  irregular  rhythms, while constantly searching  for the mysterious  connection between  composition technique  and the emotional power  of music.

The1985 Sonata -dedicated  to his wife  Anne -is the  only piece Tüür composed for  solo piano. Divided  into three  movements  and built in line with  classicist models, the sonata revives elaborate,  complex  sound  that has little to  do with  tradition, mainly due to  this unusual  pedal handling and to a certain  penchant for the  instrument's percussive aspects.