Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Eduard TUBIN (1905-1982)
Symphony No 10 (1973)
Symphony No 6 (1954)
Estonian National SO (Sym 10); Estonian Radio SO (Sym 6)
cond Neeme Järvi
rec 1979 stereo (Sym 10); 1962 mono (Sym 6)

Amazon recommendations

At last the 1962 Melodiya recording of the Sixth is available!

This disc has been around since 1999 and little attention has been paid to it. The original 1962 Melodiya LP of No. 6 is extremely rare; practically as rare as the Tauno Hannikainen Melodiya of the Sibelius Lemminkainen Legends or the 78s of Holbrooke's Fourth Symphony with the Torbay Municipal Orchestra. I wondered if I would ever hear this version.

The Symphony No. 6 is well represented on another Järvi-conducted CD and in 1986 stereo on BIS-CD-304. Doggedly trudging, insinuatingly sinister, aggressive to the point of fury (like one of Rosenberg's angrier outbursts but even more so), touched with the cold searing acid of Vaughan Williams' Symphonies 4 and 6 (and with saxophone lines to match), austere and uncompromising and resolutely unlike Shostakovich. One of its forebears is The Rite of Spring. Interesting how towards the end of the second movement Tubin shadows the triumphal moments in the Panufnik Tragic Overture. In 1986 Järvi and the Swedish Radio SO took 8.37; 10.02; 12.39 as against 9.11; 9.13 and 14.06 in 1962 on this disc. There is no escaping the advantages of the splendidly three-dimensional BIS recording but the chaffing, bladed 'chug-chug' of the first movement comes across with that extra atmosphere in the Tallinn radio studio. The nihilistic 'Northern Lights' theme (also used in his second piano sonata and the ballet Kratt) glows out more balefully with the Estonians who are also assisted by the more primevally consonant warble of the Russian style horns. The Sixth is a work of much quietly shuddering propulsion. Noisy outbursts are to the minimum but listen out for the balefully guttural trombone howls (à la Pettersson) at the end of the Molto Allegro. Ultimately this Artists Only! Forte Classics release is for the Scandinavian music connoisseur with ears case-hardened by years of listening to multi-generation tape copies. To such a person the clarity will seem magnificent and they will want to play No. 6, as I have, at full blast.. By the way the concert premiere of this work was given by the Stockholm Phil conducted by that grand Beethovenian and longtime Hamburg resident, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, on 31 October 1956.

The Tenth is Tubin's last completed symphony, written four years after No. 9. It is a single movement piece intriguingly contemporaneous with the single movement Fifth (and final) symphony by William Alwyn. Tubin does not toy with atonalism. He is as steadfast to his language as Holmboe and Rubbra across the span of their symphonies. The work was commissioned by the Gothenburg SO and completed on 4 April 1973. Its lyrical impulse is ruffled and disrupted by a memorable stamping forward movement typical of Miaskovsky and coincidentally related to the rhythmic pattern that drives forward Louis Glass's Fifth Symphony. The work is much taken up with music for the French horn and with highly atmospheric writing for woodwind and 'pressure cooker' string writing of an overwrought intensity more usually associated with the wartime works of Schuman and Harris and with the glassy expanses of Sibelius 7. It plays for over 26 minutes. The sessions for No 10 took place months before Järvi departed Soviet Estonia forever for the USA. The Soviet authorities then set about the systematic destruction of evidence of Järvi's existence. Tapes and masters were destroyed . It was only through the efforts of valiant friends at the Tallinn studios that these recordings survived as they were carefully mislabelled and hidden. Järvi also recorded this Symphony for BIS and as far as I can recall the liveliness and space of the BIS recording of No. 6 also applies to their No. 10.

These are extremely valuable recordings encoding the music as it arose hot from the composer's pen and amongst the forces for which it was originally written. If the 1979 analogue taping lacks the transparency and concussion of a modern digital version it compromises nothing in the sense of being there.

Rob Barnett


The US Distributors do not offer mail order or direct order services. All their CDs are reported available in retail stores and internet retailers such as,, and $11.98 is the suggested list price for retailers. Artists Only! only have North American rights for this CD from the Estonian FORTE label.
Further details from distributors:-Artists Only! Records
West Coast Office
9644 Lochinvar St
Pico Rivera
phone 562 948 3008
fax 562 948 2608

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.