Tüür, Erkki-Sven


Erkki-Sven Tüür (born on 16 October 1959) is one of Estonia’s most highly acclaimed contemporary composers. He began his career as a ‘chamber rock’ musician and founded the intellectual rock group In spe in Tallinn at the age of seventeen. He was an active member of the group until 1983, acting in it as composer, singer, flautist, keyboard player and percussionist. Erkki-Sven Tüür studied composition from 1979-80 at the Tallinn Music Institute and from 1980-84 at the Tallinn Conservatoire with Jaan Rääts.

Tüür seeks to write music that combines technical know-how with emotional power to develop a musical reality where the two sides – intellectual and emotional – can live together side by side. As a student Tüür was interested both in American minimalism and also the post-serial textures of Ligeti and Xenakis. Both traditions find an echo in his works. His musical architecture is often influenced by visual ideas and he is very interested in a combination of opposites: tonality versus atonality, regular repetitive rhythms versus irregular complex ones, tranquil meditativeness versus explosive theatricality.

Fennica Gehrman publishes Erkki-Sven Tüür’s earlier works. His output ranges from chamber music to symphonies, concertos and large scale choral works, among them the oratorio Ante finem saeculi dating from 1985. In Inquiétude du fini for chamber choir and chamber orchestra (1992) Tüür adopts a spiral-formed dramaturgy, integrating both diatonic and 12-tone elements. In the orchestral work Zeitraum (1992) he confronts dark, static and long-held sound blocks with the ‘racing time’ of kaleidoscopically changing 12-tone structures. The Architectonics series for various chamber ensembles represents Tüür’s aspirations at their fullest. The individual works are constructions in which the higher the musical building blocks go, the more they are joined together to form a building. This is also the principle behind the string series Action-Passion-Illusion dating from 1993-94.

Works by Erkki-Sven Tüür published by Fennica Gehrman

Orchestral works:
Action-Passion-Illusion (1993) for strings
Architectonics VI (1992) for flute, clarinet, vibraphone and strings
Symphony No. 2 (1987)
Zeitraum (1992)

Choral works with orchestra:
Inquiétude de fini (1992) for chamber choir and chamber orchestra
Mass: Lumen et cantus (1989) for male chorus and orchestra
Oratorio: Ante finem saeculi (1985) for soprano, tenor, bass, mixed chorus and orchestra

Chamber works:
Architectonics I (1984) for wind quintet (fl, ob, cl, bn, hn)
Architectonics II (1986) for clarinet, cello and piano
Architectonics III “Postmetaminimal Dream” (1990) (fl/afl, cl/bcl, 2pf/syn, 2perc, vn, vc)
Architectonics IV “PER Cadenza AD Metasimplicity” (1990) (vn/elvn, bn, barsx, pf/syn)
Architectonics V (1991) for electronic guitar and amplified piano
Architectonics VI (1992) for flute, clarinet, vibraphone and strings
Architectonics VII (1992) for flute, cello and harpsichord (alternative: fl, bcl, pf)
Dick and Toff in Wonderland (1991) for flute and tuba (alternative: fl, bcl)
Prints (1985) for flute and harp
The Tropic of Capricorn (1991) (fl, cl, vib, vn, vc, elgtr/2elgtr adlid
+ MIDI electronics) (withdrawn)
String Quartet (1985) in memoriam Urmas Kibuspuu
Sonatina for two pianos (1984)

Solo works:
Inner Monologue (1988) for flute
Sonata for piano (1985)

[composer nimi=’Tüür, Erkki-Sven‘]

Action-Passion-Illusion (II Passion)
Nordic Symphony Orchestra, cond. Anu Tali
(Warner Classics CD-2564 61992-2)

Architectonics V
Nyyd Ensemble
(Finlandia Records CD-0630-14908-2)