This 1989 compilation of Estonian orchestral music, splendidly performed by Neeme Järvi and the Scottish National Orchestra, outlines the development of a national musical identity that only gradually became free of external influences. The Julius Caesar Overture (1896) by Rudolf Tobias, the Symphony in C sharp minor (1908) by Artur Lemba, and Heino Eller's Videvik (1917) show the slow but steady progression from slavish imitation of the Russian Romantics -- particularly Tchaikovsky -- to a fairly cosmopolitan modernism, attuned to French music of the fin de siècle and Stravinsky's neo-classicism. Veljo Tormis' Overture No.
2 (1959) and Arvo Pärt's Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten (1977) show the rapid assimilation of twentieth century idioms and influences, but with them a growing sense of cultural and artistic independence, tied less to Soviet and European models and more to Estonian folk and religious traditions. These 1987 and 1988 performances are all solid, as might be expected from the committed Järvi and the SNO in fine form, and Chandos' original recordings are clean and clear.
|Symphony in C sharp minor|
|1. Andante||Neeme Järvi||15:40|
|2. Andante||Neeme Järvi||8:39|
|3. Scherzo and Trio||Neeme Järvi||7:05|
|4. Finale. Moderato assai||Neeme Järvi||8:38|
|Julius Caesar Overture for orchestra||Neeme Järvi||10:13|
|Videvik, symphonic poem for orchestra ("Twilight")||Neeme Järvi||6:04|
|Overture No 2 for orchestra||Neeme Järvi||11:14|
|Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, for string orchestra & bell||Neeme Järvi||6:14|