Great Maestros
XVIII-XIX

The Colours of Clouds
June 4, 2021
HALF A CENTURY Hortus Musicus
May 31, 2022

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GREAT MAESTROS XVIII–XIX

Elina Nechayeva − soprano
Atlan Karp − baritone
State Choir Latvija
Estonian National Male Choir
ESTONIAN NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Conductor NEEME JÄRVI

Vol XVIII / CD 1
Johannes Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem / A German Requiem, Op 45
1 Selig sind, die da Leid tragen 9:04
2 Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras 13:10
3 Herr, lehre doch mich 8:05
4 Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen 4:40
5 Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit 6:38
6 Denn wir haben hie kleine bleibende Statt 10:07
7 Selig sind die Toten 13:23

Brahms. Ein deutsches Requiem, Movement I, live, fragment, 3 min 46 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps

Brahms. Ein deutsches Requiem, Movement V, live, fragment, 3 min 43 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps

Vol XVII / CD 2

Anton Bruckner Symphony No 4 in E-flat major (“Romantic”), WAB 104
1 Bewegt, nicht zu schnell 14:38
2 Andante quasi Allegretto 10:11
3 Scherzo. Bewegt – Trio. Nicht zu schnell 7:38
4 Finale. Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell 16:53
5 Anton Bruckner Volksfest 13:29
6 Anton Bruckner Helgoland, cantata for male choir and orchestra, WAB 71 13:33

Bruckner. Symphony No 4, Movement III, live, fragment, 3 min 20 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps

Bruckner. Helgoland, live, fragment, 3 min 20 sec, mp3, 320 Kbps

Total duration 65:11 + 76:31


Orchestra concertmaster − Arvo Leibur
Choral masters − Valdis Tomsons (CD 1), Mikk Üleoja and Igor Nikiforov (CD 2, #6)
Recorded live at Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn on May 10th (CD 1), September 13th (CD 2, #5−6) and September 18th, 2019 (CD 2, #1−4)
Sound engineering, mastering − Kaspar Karner
Liner notes − Maia Lilje
Booklet editor − Meeta Morozov
Cover drawing − Heinz Valk
Design − Mart Kivisild
Executive producer − Peeter Vähi

Special thanks: Kristjan Hallik, Maarja Kasema

Released on June 7th, 2022
ERP 12622
℗ 2019 ERR (Estonian Public Broadcasting)
© 2022 ERSO (Estonian National Symphony Orchestra), ERP (Estonian Record Productions)


A German Requiem is Brahms’ most extensive large-scale vocal symphonic work. Composed between 1857 and 1868, it took a long time to complete. The requiem’s text is not a translation or a paraphrase of a Catholic Requiem Mass. Compared to the traditional Latin version, Brahms’ approach is different, rooted in his Protestant background where the personal contact with the Bible and a good knowledge of it were a matter of course. The composer chose texts from several Bible passages himself and managed to create an artistic and substantive whole. The main idea of selected verses is comfort and support for those who mourn a loved one. The very subjective choice of the texts originated from Brahms’ personal experiences of grief, but also leads to the traditions of German Baroque sacred music. Having completed his work, Brahms wrote: „I have finished my music of grief as a blessing of the suffering. I have now found consolation and made it a sign for those that mourn.“ /…/

The crown of Bruckner’s oeuvre are his symphonies, composed between 1863 and 1896. First two are not numbered; the final part of the ninth remains unfinished. Symphony No 4 in E-flat major is the most popular one. To the title page of the first version, Bruckner added a title Romantic. Years later, unusual for himself, he gave programmatic explanations in several letters. In regards to expression, the fourth symphony is closest to his own sixth symphony, which in turn has been compared to Beethoven’s Pastoral symphony. The fourth symphony reflects Bruckner’s connection with romantic perception of nature and forest mysticism and it has sometimes been called a forest symphony. Bruckner started composing it in January 1874, some days after finishing the first version of the third symphony. The score was completed in November. The members of the Vienna Philharmonic considered only the first part playable and the composer himself also admitted that the work needs thorough revision. /…/

In the manuscript of the second revision of the fourth symphony, completed in 1878, Bruckner marked the final part with the title Volksfest. It has become an independent opus with thematic material that is closely related to the final part of the first version of the 4th symphony, but is shorter in time and its harmonic progressions are less complicated. As in other versions of the fourth symphony’s final movement, Volksfest echoes the previous parts – nature calls on horns and romantic forest sounds, choral-like seriousness, folk-like dance tunes, idyllic breaks and festive-majestic greatness.

The cantata Helgoland was commissioned by the Vienna Men’s Choral Society for its 50th birthday. To complete the piece, Bruckner interrupted his work on the 9th symphony, the final part of which remains unfinished. The cantata is Bruckner’s last completed opus. The text is based on the patriotic poem by Viennese poet and journalist August Silberstein. The plot dates back to the times when the Romans, under the reign of Julius Caesar, tried to occupy the island of Helgoland in the German Gulf of the North Sea during one of the conquest trips to Britain. Understanding the predominance of the enemies, the habitants of the island turn in prayers to the gods who then repel the enemy’s fleet and give them over to the stormy sea. At Bruckner’s time, the interest towards Helgoland was immense in Austria due to political reasons. In 1864, near this island that belonged to Denmark for centuries, the Austrian navy together with Prussians had won over Danes. /…/

The Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ERSO) – a vivid and versatile orchestra, always striving towards excellence. The unique position in the intersection of cultures brings together, Western, Nordic and Russian musical traditions. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2026, ERSO has become the most prominent musical ambassador of Estonia abroad, powerfully increasing its international scope particularly in recent decades. Since the season 2020/2021, its chief conductor and artistic director is Olari Elts. Neeme Järvi, the longest-serving chief conductor of the ERSO, continues to cooperate with the orchestra as an Honorary Artistic Director for Life, and the artistic adviser of the orchestra is Paavo Järvi. The orchestra performs with renowned conductors and soloists from around the world, including, of course, the most prominent Estonian musicians. ERSO’s CDs demonstrate a quality that has been recognised by several renowned music magazines and the orchestra has won several prizes, including a Grammy Award for the recording of cantatas by Sibelius. Its home venue is the Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn and it has dazzled the world with numerous tours and participated in reputable international music festivals. They have played in prestigious venues such as the Konzerthaus Berlin, Musikverein in Vienna, Rudolfinum in Prague, Brucknerhaus in Linz, the Avery Fisher Hall in New York, the Grand Hall of Saint Petersburg Philharmonia and the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre, the Kölner Philharmonie, the Helsinki Music Centre, and many more. /…/

The grand man of Estonian music, Maestro Neeme Järvi – a conductor „from God“ – is probably one of the best-known Estonian musicians in the world. It is almost impossible to fully sum up the long and prolific career of one of the most sought-after conductors of our time. Neeme Järvi has conducted 157 orchestras, held the position of chief conductor (currently chief conductor emeritus) of Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra (currently honorary conductor), music director of Detroit Symphony Orchestra (currently music director emeritus), music director of New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (currently honorary conductor), chief conductor of the Hague Residentie-orchestra (currently chief conductor emeritus), music director of Orchestre de la Suisse Romande etc. The considerable increase in the artistic level of these orchestras has greatly been his service, as has the respect by these orchestras and their ongoing wish to continue their co-operation. His discography is likewise impressive. Among others, he has recorded all symphonies by Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Strauss, Mahler, Dvořák, Glazunov, Sibelius, Nielsen and Brahms. /…/

The State Choir Latvija was founded in 1942, obtained the status of the state choir in 1947 and Latvija was added to the name at the beginning of 1990s. It is the largest professional choir in the Baltic States, collaborating regularly with prestigious orchestras and conductors all over the world. The choir has been awarded the Latvian Grand Music Award six times and has received the Prize of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Latvian Republic (2003) as well as the Prize of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia (2007). Since 1997, the artistic director and chief conductor of Latvija is Māris Sirmais and its general manager is Māris Ošlejs. The choir regularly performs in world renowned concert halls such as Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre, Shanghai Concert Hall, The National Music Auditorium in Madrid and others. The choir has participated in White Light Festival (New York Lincoln Hall), Montreaux’ Festival, Klarafestival (Brussels), Rheingau festival (Germany) to name just a few. /…/

Elina Nechayeva has graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre as MA in classical singing and gathered accolades at the TV competition Klassikatähed (Stars in Classics), at the competition of young opera singers Neue Stimmen and Eurovision song contest where her performance of La Forza in Lisbon won Estonia the eighth place. She has been a soloist with ERSO under the baton of Neeme Järvi in Estonia, Georgia and the Shanghai Grand Theatre. Elina Nechayeva has been part of various exciting projects with Kristjan Järvi. In 2019, she sang a duet with Plácido Domingo and performed as soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana with ERSO. /…/

Atlan Karp started his vocal studies at the Georg Ots Tallinn Music School with Tõnu Bachmann and continued with Prof Jorma Hynninen and Pekka Kähkönen at the Sibelius Academy in Finland. In Helsinki, he also performed his first bigger opera roles. In 2007–2012, Atlan Karp was a soloist of Vanemuine Theatre in Tartu. As a guest, he has sung at the Estonian National Opera (Kurwenal in Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde) and at the Lithuanian National Opera (Jago in Verdi’s Otello). Among his most important opera roles are Rigoletto and di Luna (Verdi’s Rigoletto and Il trovatore), Klingsor (Wagner’s Parsifal), Figaro and don Alfonso (Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Così fan tutte), Orestes (Strauss’ Elektra), Scarpia (Puccini’s Tosca), Onegin (Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin). /…/

The Estonian National Male Choir is one of the best-known male choirs in the world. It was founded in 1944 by Estonian choral conductor and composer Gustav Ernesaks. The list of its conductors includes, but is not limited to, Harald Uibo, Uno Järvela, Olev Oja, Kuno Areng, Ants Üleoja, Ants Soots, Kaspars Putniņš. Starting from the 2011/2012 season, the chief conductor and artistic director of the Estonian National Male Choir is Mikk Üleoja. The choir’s repertoire spans from the Renaissance to contemporary. Besides many Estonian composers, it has premiered works by such luminaries as Dmitri Shostakovich, Otar Taktakshvili, Gavin Bryars and Giovanni Bonato. The choir frequently records for Estonian Radio and has collaborated with such labels as Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Finlandia Warner, CCn’C, Alba Records, Virgin Classics and Ondine. /…/


Download the original lyrics and Estonian translations (PDF, 4 pages)

Distribution in Estonia by ERSO (phone +372 6 147787, erso@erso.ee) and Easy-Living Music (reispuk@neti.ee)

See also other orchestral records produced by ERP: Paavo Järvi, Ad patrem meum, Resurrection of Mozart, Joy and Sorrow Unmasked, Pure Handel, A Chant of Bamboo, Artist Chagall, Bassoon Concertos, Musica Triste, Nordic Legends, Somnium boreale, The Hand of God, Tubin, Strings on the Move, Wagner. Strauss. Seeger

See other releases by ERP with Estonian National Symphony Orchesta or Neeme Järvi