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Beauty imbued with spirituality
on 4 September 2016
The elegant barren tree reflected in the water which graces the cover of the two - disc compilation resonates with the dark, melancholy mood of the music and all particularly with the minimalist of haunting beauty gem Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in Mirror). This piece seems deceptively simple but in reality it is highly and tightly structured. There are different versions of the work, in the compilation we listen to piano and violin but there are also versions of piano and viola and piano and cello.
The compilation was released on the occasion of the 75th birthday of the Estonian composer and includes instrumental and choral masterpieces inspired by the Eastern Orthodox Church while we are exposed to the particular idiom of the composer the 'tintinnabuli' ('little bells') style. The fact that both the instrumental and choral pieces are rendered to perfection impact to the listener a feeling approaching the divine.
Instrumental works include Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten among the earliest in the 'tintinnabuli' style; its sombre mood, reinforced by a tolling bell and the arch of a long descending melodic line is evocative of the deceased. Fratres and Tabula rasa are in the same vein.
Among choral works Missa syllabica, Summa and Cantate Domino are also written in the 'tintinnabuli' idiom. Other choral works in the compilation include Beatus Petronius, its material stripped of all embellishment to convey a heartfelt prayer; the transcendentally beautiful Seven Magnificat Antiphons and the increasingly tormented choral cries of De Profundis begin and end in the clearest expression of timeless texts; in the Beatitudes from the Sermon in the Mount, the composer confronts comfortable listeners with the stark reality of Jesus' blessings on the poor, the weak and the marginalized.