Released in June 2014.
… this is minimalism with a heart. But it is Randalu’s interpretation that brings these little ideas to life. Each flows into the next, distinct but linked together, taking the listener on a journey. (Planet Hugill − A world of classical music)
|24 marginaali klaverile / 24 Marginalia for piano, Op 65|
|1||No 1 Moderato||2:18|
|2||No 2 Allegro||0:41|
|3||No 3 Andantino||1:00|
|4||No 4 Andante||2:00|
|5||No 5 Moderato||0:34|
|6||No 6 Andante||1:01|
|7||No 7 Allegro||1:03|
|8||No 8 Moderato||2:16|
|9||No 9 Allegro||0:40|
|10||No 10 Con moto||1:10|
|11||No 11 Allegro||0:44|
|12||No 12 Vivo||0:34|
|13||No 13 Moderato||1:17|
|14||No 14 Con moto||1:03|
|15||No 15 Allegro||0:40|
|16||No 16 Andantino||1:30|
|17||No 17 Allegretto||0:50|
|18||No 18 Allegro. Rubato||0:52|
|19||No 19 Moderato||1:13|
|20||No 20 Allegro||0:49|
|21||No 21 Andante||1:17|
|22||No 22 Moderato||1:53|
|23||No 23 Allegro||0:44|
|24||No 24 Con moto||0:46|
|24||Elektroonilised marginaalid / Electronic Marginalia, Op 65a||21:46|
#12, No 12, performed by Kalle Randalu, fragm, 34 sec, 320 Kbps
#14, No 14, performed by Kalle Randalu, fragm, 56 sec, 320 Kbps
#25, Electronic Marginalia, performed by Kalle Randalu, Sven Grünberg and Jaan Rääts, fragm, 2 min 33 sec, 320 Kbps
Recorded in June 2013 in Baden-Baden Hans Rosbaud-Studio, Germany (#1−24) and in 1980 in the Estonian Composers’ Union (#25)
Engineered by Toomas Vana (#1−24) and Enn Tomson (#25)
Mastered by Priit Kuulberg
Text compiled by Inna Kivi
English translation by Tiina Jokinen
Photos by Kaupo Kikkas and from private archives
Design by Mart Kivisild
Produced by Peeter Vähi
Special thanks: Estonian Authors’ Society
© 2014 Kalle Randalu, Forte, Estonian Record Productions (Tallinn)
Jaan Rääts, side by side with Eino Tamberg, Arvo Pärt and Veljo Tormis, entered the stage of the Estonian music as brave innovators at the end of 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s. Unlike many others, Rääts found his individual musical language relatively quickly and has in broad scale stayed true to it until today. His Concerto for Chamber Orchestra, op 16 (1961) that gathered the first real accolades, is reputed to have been the most widely-played work of Estonian music in the world of its time. In today’s Estonian music it still has no rivals in its genre.
Jaan Rääts has occasionally been called an Anti-Romantic. Already in high school he developed deep interest in physics, chemistry, mathematics and a number of technical subjects − all of which serv as the proof of his rational thinking. This gave rise to his later fascination with mathematical logic, experimental psychology and cybernetics. Having started his musical studies with piano, he masters the instrument quite well. Of no secondary importance is also the fact that Rääts worked for more than 10 years as sound engineer in the Estonian Radio which enabled him to become an expert of the newest sound equipment of that time, making him one of the best-learned persons among Estonian composers. The list of works by the now over 80 years old composer is awe-inspiring. The basic part of it is formed by instrumental music: 10 symphonies, 24 instrumental concertos, 2 orchestra concertos, symphonic pieces as well as plenty of chamber and film music. His work is characterized by unexpected and swift caleidoscopic turns of the musical thought. The webpage of the Estonian Music Information Centre describes Rääts’s musical language as neoclassicist, coolly rhetorical, full of powerful energy and motive rhythm, linear-polyphonic. “Jaan Rääts imposes on the listener only the super-agile pulse of his music, thus charging him with the motive energy. As to the rest, he gives free reign to the listener’s phantasy…” (Priit Kuusk).
The performers are given quite free reign by the composer as well.
See also other recordings of Jaan Rääts released by Estonian Record Productions.
Different record companies have released Jaan Rääts’s music on more than 40 LPs and CDs. Marginalia for Piano and Electronic Marginalia with the current perfomers were first recorded in 1980 and released on LP by the Soviet record company Melodija in 1981, being the first record featuring electronic music by an Estonian composer. Although the honour of authorship of the first recorded Estonian electronic music at the end of the 1970s belongs to prog rock and electronic music guru Sven Grünberg, these recordings were released somewhat later. An LP featuring electronic music by a Russian record company at that time was undoubtedly an exceptional phenomenon. Possibly, Jaan Rääts’s social standing as the Chairman of the Estonian Composers’ Union (1974−1993) played no minor role here. In 1982, Rääts composed also Marginalia for 2 Pianos, op 68. According to the composer’s own explanation, the cycle dedicated to Kalle Randalu, consisting of 24 short pieces was named Marginalia because of being inspired by very different soundspheres in our surrounding musical landscape – from Baroque to contemporary everyday music. It is a kind of collection of marginalia, musical side notes on the percieved sound world by the composer, without an ambition to stylize or copy anything. “Since the 80s fragments of different stylistic worlds flash through Rääts’s music: patterns of Baroque melody, Vivaldi-like figuration technique as well as simple motives of folklore. The author’s phantasy seems to keep us spinning in a narrow drum.” (Evi Arujärv)
During the creative process, it occurred to the composer to arrange a part of the pieces for synthetisizer and another, for electronic keyboards. The composer has expressed his immense gratitude to Sven Grünberg whose experience and instruments enabled this idea to materialize. Sound engineer Enn Tomson played no secondary role either. In the electronic version of Marginalia, the source material has been thoroughly processed with new musical material added and a score for electronics written. Electronic Marginalia is a phantasy on the musical figures of its preceding piano marginalia. The basic patterns of Nos 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 12, 20, 22 and 24 can be recognized in the electronic version, whereas 24 occurs in two different recordings of musical components on multitrack tape. The recording performers of marginalia were Kalle Randalu and partly, the composer himself.
Internationally acclaimed pianist, Professor of Karlsruhe Music College Kalle Randalu was born in Estonia and graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music in the class of legendary Prof Bruno Lukk, the founder of the Estonian piano school, in 1980. He completed his postgraduate studies with Prof Lev Vlassenko at the Moscow Conservatory in 1980−1983.
Kalle Randalu has won several international competitions and since 1988, lives and works in Germany. He is reputed to be an extremely stylish and fine interpreter of classics, especially Mozart and Beethoven. In his wide scope of repetoire, Estonian and German music occupy a special place. He has premiered a number of works by Estonian composers.
Concert tours have taken Kalle Randalu all over Europe as well as to the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Brazil and Russia. He has collaborated with top orchestras and conductors of the world. His repertoire contains over 50 piano concertos as well as a multitude of solo and chamber works.
Randalu has recorded nearly 60 LPs and CDs (Melodija, Antes, MDG) out of which a collection of seven CDs featuring all the sonatas by Paul Hindemith, recorded together with Villa Musica has been particularly acclaimed. The collection won Classical Award in Cannes, 1998 and Klassik Echo Award in Germany, 2003. Other important recordings include double CD with piano trios by Brahms and a cycle of 3 CDs with chamber music by Schumann. In 1987, Kalle Randalu was awarded the title of People’s Artist of Estonian SSR, in 1999, the degree of doctor honoris causa of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and in 2001, by the President of Estonia, the Order of the White Star of the 4th Class.
See also Kalle Randalu at Glasperlenspiel Music Festival.
Composer and keyboarder Sven Grünberg is considered to be the founder of the Estonian electronic music being the first to start using the synthesizer. He is mainly a studio musician, mostly performing his works himself − using several instruments, singing and being sound engineer as well as his own producer. In the 1970s he became known for his prog rock band Mess − the ensemble was unconventional in the contemporary Soviet Union and did not fit into the mainstream cultural ideology. Grünberg has composed music for more than 100 films (Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel, Milarepa). He has had especially fruitful co-operation with a talented film director Olav Neuland, writing music for most of his films. Besides Estonian film directors, Grünberg has co-operated with movie makers from Japan, Finland, Poland, the USA, Germany, Latvia, Russia et al. and been awarded international prizes. For several decades Grünberg’s trademark has been meditative electronic music inspired by Tibetan traditions. A German record company Erdenklang has released his CDs Milarepa (1993) and Prana Symphony (1995), the former featuring songs composed on the lyrics by a Tibetan poet and saint Milarepa (1040−1123).
See also Sven Grünberg at Glasperlenspiel Music Festival.
Download liner notes in Estonian (pdf).
Distribution in Estonia by Easy-Living Music, in the USA by Naxos USA, worldwide by Note 1 Music
See also othe recordings of Jaan Rääts by ERP: Prezioso
See also other piano recordings by ERP: Magic of Sound, Melancholy, The Call of the Stars, Walzing Mephisto by the Danube, Keyboard Juggleress, Enter Denter, Aleksandra Juozapénaité-Eesmaa, Resurrection of Mozart, Estonian Preludes, Northern Lights Sonata, The Well-tempered Clavier I, Sergei Rahmaninov. Piano Works, Toivo Nahkur, Neeme Järvi, Deus Ex Clavier, Heino Eller