Saturday, January 03, 2015

The 10 Best Classical Recordings Of 2014 (New Releases)
Jens F. Laurson

Stirring Depths from Estonia

Erkki-Sven Tüür
Piano Concerto, Symphony No.7
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
NDR Chorus
Laura Mikkola (piano)
Paavo Järvi (conductor)
It’s lovely for two recordings (see Choice No.2) with such very well written, accessible-yet-uncompromising contemporary works to come out in on year and so easily make this list. Erkki-Sven Tüür’s Piano Concerto and Seventh Symphony (mawkishly dedicated to the Dalai Lama, paid for by the Frankfurt RSO and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; both, then, led by Paavo Järvi) were on it immediately from first hearing, very early on in the year. In the concerto (with soloist Laura Mikkola), the piano runs and percussion accompaniment not only remind of a jazz session, the section also develops a compelling groove that makes me involuntarily bop along and tap my foot. Yet, for all Tüür’s usage of the jazz- idiom, he never even hints at cross-over. This is an element that the long last movement of the Seventh Symphony picks up on, intermittently, tumbling and rumbling before coming to a reflective, calmer end. Unreadable, jargon-y liner notes, sadly, but otherwise a humdinger of a new release for everyone interest in (classical) music with a pulse that actually invites, not forbids, listening.

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