PAAVO JÄRVI AND THE ESTONIAN FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA CELEBRATE THE 60TH BIRTHDAY OF A CLOSE FRIEND & COLLEAGUE
“Paavo has been conducting my music since the beginning of the 1990’s. He has recorded three portrait albums of my music, has been the initiator of many works and conducted a large number of world premieres.”
Paavo Järvi and the Estonian Festival Orchestra’s second album on Alpha Classics is dedicated to the music of Erkki-Sven Tüür and features recordings of three works recorded live in concert in Estonia between 2016 and 2019. The album is released this March to celebrate Tüür’s 60th birthday.
Tüür’s 9th Symphony – Mythos, which forms the centre piece of the album and is dedicated to Paavo Järvi, was recorded live at its 2018 world premiere performance in Tallinn celebrating 100 years of Estonian Independence. Both Incantation of Tempest (dedicated to Veljo Tormis) and Sow the Wind were recorded live in 2016 and 2019 respectively at the Pärnu Music Festival, home of the Estonian Festival Orchestra on the Baltic Sea.
”What should I say about the music?” asks Erkki-Sven Tüür. “I believe that music has to have everything – overwhelming power, illuminating light, endless gentleness and the deepest darkness. Fury, pain, remorse. Everything that makes us human. And the tender touch of redeeming love. I hope you can find all this on the new collection.”
Paavo Järvi and Erkki-Sven Tüür first met in the 1970’s in Tallinn, becoming firm friends with a shared passion for percussion. In 1979 Tüür founded the progressive rock band In Spe, and invited the then 17 year old Paavo to join the band. But Järvi’s budding rock career was thwarted when his family emigrated to the States in 1980 where he went on to study conducting at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute with Leonard Bernstein. Back in Estonia Tüür’s band became a national success in the Soviet Union, alongside which he studied composing with Jaan Rääts (at the Tallinn Conservatoire) and Lepo Sumera (privately) and then went on to pursue his interest in electronic music in Karlsruhe. By the late 1980’s Tüür had embarked wholeheartedly on his path as a composer and is today widely regarded as one of Estonia’s leading composers, alongside Arvo Pärt. It was not until after Estonian Independence that Paavo Järvi was able to return to his homeland and since that time, the two friends have collaborated on numerous projects both at home and abroad.
“The strong relationship which Erkki-Sven Tüür and I have had for over forty years now, has been one of the pivotal points in my musical life. I consider him to be one of the greatest living composers and am particularly happy that this anniversary release features the world premiere performance of his important 9th symphony. This album also draws together all the elements that are most important to me in my work with the Estonian Festival Orchestra – bringing new life, energy and visibility to Estonia.”
The Estonian Festival Orchestra, which was founded by Paavo Järvi in 2011 as the resident orchestra of the Pärnu Music Festival, regularly collaborates with Erkki-Sven Tüür and champions his music both at home and on tour. The long dreamed of ambition by Järvi to create a hand picked orchestra, bringing together the best of Estonian talent and leading musicians from around the world, has since led to international acclaim: “definitely one of the world’s great orchestras” (The Arts Desk, UK), “with a truly breathtaking energy and virtuosity” (Diapason, France) where “there are no egos, but truly passionate people in making and listening to the best music” (El Pais, Spain) and where “year after year you can see and hear the artists evolve, open up, listen to each other” (Die Welt, Germany). The Estonian Festival Orchestra will perform at this year’s Pärnu Music Festival on 19, 22 and 23 July.
The new album is released on Friday March 13 to coincide with Paavo Jävi’s performances with the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich where Erkki-Sven Tüür is currently this year’s “Creative Chair” composer in focus. This Spring also sees the the UK premiere of Mythos, Symphony No. 9 in London with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Olari Elts (24 March), the US premiere of Tüür’s Missa Brevis at Carnegie Hall with Collegium Musicale (30 March), the world premiere of his Violin Concerto No. 3 Kõnelused Tundmatuga (Talks with the Unkown), which will be performed by Vadim Gluzman and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (15 May) and a new work for strings to be premiered in Glasgow as a part of the Bridge Festival (16 May).