> TUBIN Concertino etc []: Classical CD Reviews- Oct 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Eduard TUBIN (1905-1982)
Concertino for piano and orchestra (1945) [23.18]
Music for Strings (1963) [14.15]
Concerto for flute and string orchestra (1979) [22.14]
Lauri Väinmaa (piano)
Estonian National SO/Arvo Volmer (concertino)
Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra/Juha Kanga (Music)
Maarika Järvi (flute)
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra/Kristjan Järvi (concerto)
rec. May 1997, Kaustinen Church, Finland (Music); May/June 1997 Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn (Concertino); 7 Sept 2000, Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn (Concerto) DDD
WARNER APEX 0927 48196 2 [59.47]


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Tubin's reputation rests on his ten symphonies of which numbers four and six are the most accessible. Warner have here squirrelled together three works from disparate sources. None of them are symphonies and two of them present Tubin the writer of concertos. The Concertino is not at all the light masquerade you might expect; in fact the diminutive must surely refer to its brevity rather than its mood. The single movement Concertino was written in the year after Tubin had to emigrate from Estonia to Sweden. It is a work in which the clangorous eloquence, sweep and wheel of Prokofiev's First Piano Concerto meets a tragic romanticism derived from Rachmaninov. Volmer and the Estonian orchestra are in process of recording the complete Tubin symphonies for Alba. Three CDs have already been issued. Music for Strings is a work from almost twenty years later, in which textures have been thinned and, pace the notes, this is much more neo-classically accented than the Concertino. In its trudge and lilt the work recalls Wirén (listen to the allegro tr. 3) but it is not short of bleakness as in the silvery-grey contours of the final movement. The Flute Concerto started out as a sonata for flute and cello. It was orchestrated by Charles Coleman in 1995 and appears here in that form. Tubin learnt the flute during his days as the family's cowherd in the early 1910s. This is not complex music. Simplicity allows the naturally suave melodic heart of the flute to sing and dance without dilution or cloy. Two slowish movements of warm contented reflection buttress a dancing Vivace. I get the impression that this recording is issued for the first time as part of this collection. The performances and recordings are sympathetic.

The notes are perfectly adequate and full discographical details are given.

This is a Tubin triptych representative of three life-phases: neo-romantic heroism; neo-classical restraint and singing simplicity.

Rob Barnett


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