01. Overture-Fantasy No. 2 in B Minor
02. Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Major I. Allegro moderato
03. Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Major II. Andante con espressione
04. Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Major III. Allegro
05. Midsummer Night
06. Overture-Fantasy No. 1 in B Minor
07. The Last Confession (Orch. C. Coleman)
08. Symphony No. 4 “Youth” I. Moderato
09. Symphony No. 4 “Youth” II. Andante con variazioni
10. Symphony No. 4 “Youth” III. Andante
11. Symphony No. 4 “Youth” IV. Allegro moderato
In his latest recording for Chandos with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Neeme J?rvi explores pieces by three of Estonia’s first composers. The bulk of the works in the programme were composed in the first decade of the twentieth century, and are all excellent representations of the birth of Estonian Music, as Estonia transitioned from a territory in the Russian Empire to an independent nation state. As was the norm at the end of the nineteenth century, these composers studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory, and Estonian symphonic music certainly has its roots in the Russian nationalist style. Like so much of European music of this era, ethnic identity is emphasised by the inclusion of native folk tunes, and the ‘Nordic’ style of Grieg and others is clearly an influence.
Kapp’s Fourth Symphony, however, was written after WWII, when Estonia and the other Baltic states were occupied by the Soviet Union, and is dedicated to the thirtieth anniversary of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League (although probably not by choice), one reason for the title ‘Youth Symphony’. Kapp also subtitled it ‘Classical Symphony’ and its compact form and light textures deliver a distillation of the Estonian style.