WORKS FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO. VOL 2
Sigrud Kuulmann, viiul
Marko Martin, klaver
Released on Dec 2nd, 2012.
|1−5||Suite on Estonian Dance Pieces for Solo Violin||11:15|
|9||Sonata for Violin and Piano No 1||16:41|
|12||Capriccio No 2||4:38|
|13||Cock’s dance from the ballet Kratt||2:13|
|14||Paganini-Tubin. Caprice Op 1 No 24||6:29|
#13, Cock’s dance from Kratt, fragm, 1 min 15 sec, mp3, 160 Kbps
#3, Suite on Estonian Dance Pieces, Slow Waltz, fragm, 1 min 43 sec, mp3, 160 Kbps
#14, Paganini-Tubin, Caprice No 24, fragm, 2 min, mp3, 160 Kbps
Performed by: Sigrid Kuulmann (violin) & Marko Martin (piano)
Recorded in the concert hall of Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in 2011
Steinway & Sons piano tuned by Mait Meibaum
In co-operation with Estonian Public Broadcasting
Engineered and mastered by Maido Maadik
Assistant engineers: Priit Karind, Kaspar Karner
Recording co-producer: Mirje Mändla
Liner notes by Vardo Rumessen
Booklet compiled and edited by Inna Kivi
Translated by Tiina Jokinen
Design by Mart Kivisild
Produced by Peeter Vähi
Although first and foremost known as an outstanding symphonist, Eduard Tubin has also composed chamber music for various instrumental staff. Among his works violin music occupies a special place excelling in melodiousness and emotional expression. The works by him usually require great technical skills, thus enabling the player to demonstrate his or her virtuosity. In addition, they are characterized by masterful composition technique, clear structure of form and prove the composer’s deep knowledge of the instrument. The afore-mentioned concerns both short pieces and extensive forms. Tubin’s works for violin include two violin concertos (1942, 1945), two sonatas with piano (1936, 1949), solo sonata (1962), Suite on Estonian Folk Tunes for violin and piano and a number of short pieces like 2 caprices, Ballade, Meditation, Prelude et al.
According to the composer’s own words he considered violin, which he had also played in his youth, his favourite instrument. The importance of that instrument is proved not only by the above-listed works but also by extensive violin solos in his orchestral compositions. His violin music is characterized by cool Nordic approach arising not so much from the use of folk tunes as from a general national-psychological source. Though Tubin lived a bigger part of his life in Sweden, he has not used Swedish folk tunes in any of his works, while the appearance of Estonian tunes is fairly frequent, thus contributing to the composer’s personal style.
Three Pieces, ETW 48 has been composed in 1933. Those are the earliest known works for violin by Tubin. The two first pieces are meditative and with free improvisation containing also recital passages of solo violin. The third piece is a virtuos toccata based on rhythmical development.
The first and the third pieces were performed Evald Turgan and Olav Roots at Vanemuine Concert Hall in Tartu on May 10th, 1933. On Dec 18th, the same year, the afore-mentioned musicians performed the pieces in Société des Artistes Musiciens, Paris where they gathered critical accolades. Although all the three pieces were initially planned by the composer as an uninterrupted cycle, only the first and the third were published by the Estonian Culture Endowment’s Music Foundation under the title of “Two Pieces for violin and piano” (Tallinn, 1935).
Tubin commenced work on Sonata No 1 for violin and piano (ETW 49) right after completing his 1st Symphony in 1934 and it was premiered by Evald Turgan and Olav Roots at the University of Tartu Assembly Hall on Dec 20th, 1936. In 1968–1969, the composer changed the texture of the piano part into simpler and more rational. The new version was premiered by Alfred Pisuke and Ragnar Dahl in Swedish Radio on Jun 21st, 1971.
Violin Sonata No 1 is one of the earliest extensive works by the young composer written as a result of a long creative search that ran parallel to his everyday job at the theatre. Similar to the 1st Symphony the sonata reflects the composer’s aspirations to create a grand work where the whole musical structure flows from one and only central theme which in its turn gives rise to other contrapuntally connected themes. This makes the texture of the work extremely dense and complicated, at the same time being supported by strong inner logic. The work reflects composer’s wide imaginative powers, polyphonic skills and strong sense of form that integrates the separate passages. All movements (I Andante con moto; II Quasi presto, misterioso; III Ostinato marciale) are played attacca.
Violin Sonata No 1 by Eduard Tubin is the first full-scale violin sonata in the history of Estonian music preceded by the one-movement sonatas by Artur Kapp, Heino Eller and Eugen Kapp. By this the young composer exposes himself not only as a master of counterpoint but also as one with great personality and high artistic aims.
Meditation, ETW 51, has been composed in Budapest where Tubin was furthering his education in Feb 1938. According to the words of violinist Herbert Laan, Tubin stayed at his apartment and though the place lacked piano, the composer drew an initial sketch of the work nevertheless. Thereafter Laan and Tubin showed the work to Zoltán Kodály who quite appeared to like the melodiousness of it. Characteristic of Meditation is lyrical poetic expression with a somewhat reserved introduction followed by a more rhythmical middle movement which in its turn gives way to a colourful and impressionist finale. Meditation was premiered by Herbert Laan and Olav Roots in a live broadcast of the Estonian Radio in 1938. The first public concert with the work performed by Evald Turgan and Villem Tilting was held at the University of Tartu Assembly Hall on Jan 21st, 1939.
Prelude, ETW 54, is according to Tubin’s own words his first work composed in Sweden, commissioned by violinist Zelia Aumere in 1944 and completed in the same year at the Neglinge refugee camp. It was later published in 1951 by Körling of Sweden. As one of the most beautiful violin works by Tubin, it attracts attention with its poetic and melodious character. It is composed in a three movement form: the main melody in the first movement is performed by violin accompanied by descending piano passages; the second movement is livelier bringing out the rhythmical motif in the violin’s double notes thus building up the culmination. The reprise is noteworthy for its impressionistically light colours, its symbolic mood reminding of the solo song Summer Night on Henrik Visnapuu’s lyrics composed in the same year. The work was premiered by Zelia Aumere and Olav Roots in Stockholm’s Kungsgatan School on Dec 17th, 1944.
Capriccio No 2, ETW 55 was commissioned also by Zelia Aumere in 1945. The work is built on two contrasting themes the first of which is heard at the very beginning gradually conquering wider and wider registers in its flow. The second, dance-like theme resembles an Estonian folk tune and later acquires heavy peasant-like character. The work ends in a dashingly bright cadenza. Capriccio was premiered by Zelia Aumere and Olav Roots at Stockholm Konserthuset’s Small Hall on Sep 25th, 1945.
Cock’s Dance from ballet Kratt, ETW 111B. The ballet Kratt in its initial form was completed in 1940, however, already in the following year the composer made considerable changes to the work adding also Cock’s Dance as an independent item. The ballet music was once again reworked by its author in connection with its premiere at Vanemuine theatre in 1943. According to Alfred Pisuke, Tubin arranged Cock’s Dance for violin and piano upon the request by the latter in order to record it in 1958. It is an impressive and technically demanding piece of dazzling rhythm and bright form.
Suite on Estonian Dance Pieces for solo violin, ETW 58, Tubin’s last work for violin, is composed in 1979. It consists of five movements: Bagpipe piece, Night Herdsman, Slow Waltz, Horn Piece and Serf’s Dance. The suite gives variations on several Estonian folk tunes reflecting Tubin’s great affection to Estonian folk heritage and his own memories of the herdsboy times in his childhood home.
Tubin was completely enchanted by the uniqueness of Estonian folk tunes which is well expressed in his two suites on folk themes for violin – Suite on Estonian Dance Pieces (ETW 53) and Suite on Estonian Dance Pieces for solo violin (ETW 58). Using folk tunes was not an aim in itself for Tubin but an inexhaustible source of creativity.
The suite for solo violin was premiered by Alfred Pisuke at the festivities of the Estonian Independence Day in Stockholm Konserthus on Feb 24th, 1980.
Paganini-Tubin: Caprice No 24 (without ETW number). It can be seen from the manuscript that Tubin composed the piano part for Paganini’s famous work upon Zelia Aumere’s request for her solo recital at Stockholm Konserthuset on April 9th, 1945 where Olav Roots performed the piano part. Composer’s note on the manuscript reads: “Arranged upon insistence by Zelia Uhke-Aumere. Eduard Tubin. Neglinge, April 7th, 1945”.
Download: Sigrid Kuulmann & Marko Martin, 2012, at Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, photo by Kaupo Kikkas, colour, RGB, 300 dpi, jpg, 6.2 MB
Sigrid Kuulmann started her violin studies at the age of seven. She studied at the Estonian Academy of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and at Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf. Her teachers include Tiiu Peäske, Yfrah Neaman and Rosa Fain, a former pupil of David Oistrakh. She attended masterclasses by Igor Bezrodny, Michaela Martin and Dmitry Sitkovetsky.
Sigrid Kuulmann is a laureate of Heino Eller International Violin Competition in Tallinn and is gaining further accolades for her performances of Estonian music, especially in Eduard Tubin’s works.
She Estonia-premiered Partita by Lutoslawski, Sequenza VIII by Berio, Violin Concerto No 2 by Virkhaus. She has performed as soloist with conductors Neeme Järvi, Andres Mustonen, Andrei Chistyakov, Gregory Rose, Nicholas Smith, etc, and given recitals in England, Germany, Scandinavia and Estonia. Sigrid Kuulmann has been broadcasted and recorded by Estonian Radio and TV. Since 2012, she is also the principal violinist of Glasperlenspiel Sinfonietta.
During 2009–2010, ERP has released 2 CDs of Sigrid Kuulmann: Works for Solo Violin (Bach, Paganini, Ysaÿe) and Eduard Tubin. Works for Violin and Piano Vol I.
Marko Martin is clearly a pianist to watch. Laureate of the 2000 Esther Honens International Piano Competition and prize winner at the 1998 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Marko is gaining a reputation for his inspired balance between energy and lyricism, especially in the works of Brahms, Schubert and Liszt. He is equally admired for his interpretation of music of the 20th century.
Martin studied at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre with Prof Peep Lassmann and went on to work with Prof Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He has taken part in numerous masterclasses, including Leon Fleisher, Dmitri Bashkirov, Murray Perahia and Paul Badura-Skoda.
Marko Martin has performed with Philharmonia Orchestra London, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, etc. He has given recitals at Barbican Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Musikhalle in Hamburg, Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. His recordings include Schubert and Liszt for Abbas Records (1998) and Liszt for Arktos (2002).