RENÉ EESPERE (b.1953): Concerto No. 2 for Flute and Chamber Orchestra (Neeme Punder [flute]), Cantus for Chamber Orchestra, Concertatus celatus for Cello and Chamber Orchestra (Marius Järvi [cello]), Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra (Toomas Vavilov [clarinet]).

Catalogue Number: 10L098

Label: Antes Edition

Reference: BMCD 31.9226

Format: CD

Price: $19.98

Description: These three short concerti share a common vocabulary of basically tonal idiom, inflected by the modes of Estonian folk music. There is a general atmosphere of mystery, even melancholy, familiar from Shostakovich's music - this is especially apparent in the yearning, long-breathed solo lines of the 'cello concerto. Ostinato figuration in repetitive gestures provides propulsion in faster episodes; sometimes as in the flute concerto this can approach a kind of minimalism, though never sounding like an end in itself. Elsewhere this kind of writing provides a sense of insistence, gentle and dogged rather than hectoring and obsessive. The clarinet concerto has a non-programmatic subtext about the passing of life and the uncertainty of the future, according to the composer; chilly Sibelian landscapes and the insistent orchestral percussion of Le sacre (in less confrontational miniature, as it were) are the background to an eloquently agitated clarinet soliloquy. The piece makes repeated use of the contour of the DSCH motif, though not at pitch; the significance, if any, of this is not explained in the notes; the Dies irae is quoted in extenso at the work's conclusion. The Cantus is a mournful elegy, not a specific memorial but with the character of a mourning song, very Swan of Tuonela in mood. Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Risto Joost.

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