Tubin: Complete Symphonies
 
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Tubin: Complete Symphonies

1 Oct 2009

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 28 Oct 2002
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Label: BIS
  • Copyright: (C) 2002 BIS
  • Total Length: 5:31:15
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00478YFZ2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most worthy cause 14 Feb 2011
By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The strange fairy tale of Edouard Tubin's life (1905-82) is that of a man who, having witnessed the tramp of the invader's boot across his homeland more times than anyone should have to see, chose exile from his beloved Estonia for freedom but relative obscurity across the Baltic in Stockholm. It was only at the end of his life that his internationally famous fellow countryman, Neeme Järvi, began frequently programming his music that the recognition and honour Tubin so clearly deserved arrived.

And how very well deserved. A Sibelian grandeur of vision fused with a richness of harmony and orchestration often reminiscent of Shostakovich, particularly when letting the orchestra blaze forth with a sometimes terrifying majesty and power. A Delian reverence and awe for nature, but rather more robust. The earlier symphonies are of land and sea in all their moods and shades, evoking huge Baltic skies where giants battle, and a hyperborean cosmos thronged with ancient gods, but in which the human heart flies free, and is equal to all it encounters. And all this from the off, with Symphony No.1, with no time lost in searching for his personal voice. The later symphonies turn towards the more personally subjective, are more reflective and on occasions touched by tragedy. All of the works have their own distinct character and meaning, and there is never any sense of his repeating himself. His music moves effortlessly between almost primitive power and the formidable intelligence. It is music to be experienced with the complete self, the complete body and the complete soul. His frequent use of solo instruments in a quite lyrical vein forms a distinctive aspect of Tubin's language, and means that a fine tune is never far away.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More hidden treasures 2 May 2012
Format:Audio CD
For me this is all all rather like finding I have been living nearby to a kindred spirit and never knew he was living just round the corner.

In cases like this we often find that we are reviewing the composer, rather than the specific musical performance. To many classical enthusiasts Tubin remains 'new'. I have heard no other alternative performances against which to measure these efforts by Neeme Jarvi which were laid down as long ago as early-mid-eighties.

But, while Tubin was almost exactly contemporary with Shostakovich, he was clearly more of a 'half-glass full' kind of fellow. He appears to occupy an 'in your face' space somewhere between Rachmaninov, Madetoja, Vaughan-Williams, Richard Strauss, Bartok and Sibelius. His music is well-orchestrated, dynamic, imaginative and reasonably concise.

If you wish any or all of those (above-mentioned) composers had written more symphonies and orchestral music - and more aggressively - then I urge you to explore these. You will also find an individual voice, but the Scandinavian influence is inescapable.

Beautiful, clear BIS recordings and good value.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful symphonies from the Baltic 15 Jan 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I had my interest in Estonian music piqued many years ago when I came across an LP of symphonies by Heino Eller and Kaljo Raid. Having read good things concerning this set in the Penguin Guide, I decided to invest in it, and I'm glad I did.

The five generously-filled discs feature the ten completed symphonies and a couple of shorter orchestral works, all in fine recordings directed by Estonian Neeme Järvi who clearly has this music close to his heart. There is much to enjoy here, and I can only echo the other reviewers' sentiments - do yourselves a favour and buy this box. One reviewer said they (along with the Penguin Guide) gave the set a rosette - this reviewer awards a second.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile after all 28 Aug 2011
By enthusiast TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
I am always suspicious of allegedly neglected masterpieces of modern music and especially so when they are as absolutely accessible as these works are. God forbid that I should spend time listening to music that I end up feeling is no better than film music ("music that is orchestral but that doesn't make it classical")! It may be my Presbyterian upbringing but should it not be the case that you should have to work hard to get something really worthwhile? That might not be the case in slight and light music - hidden gems, if you like - but should surely be the case with big statement works such as these. Yet these works are rigorous, avoid bombast (for the most part) and sentimentality, hold your attention and win you over again and again until they have established themselves into your ideas about what represents important music from the last century.

Tubin sounds a little like an Estonian Vaughan-Williams but with a less strong pastoral side. These works are very conservative but they are also distinctive in terms of sound world and language. It is true, I think, that Tubin's language lacks the range and variety that one would ideally seek in a great symphonist and he doesn't plumb the depths or scale the heights of a Sibelius or a Shostakovich. But these are powerful and stirring works that often mange to say profound things. There are many works here that should hold a firm place in the repertoire and all of the symphonies are worthwhile. My current favourite is the 8th - a relatively late work that is both disturbing and satisfying, and that manages to be both very conservative and, well, rather contemporary in its mood.
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