Fridrich Bruk – born in Kharkov in 1937 and a Finnish resident since 1974 – made his name as a composer of tangos. But the heart of his music lies in a series of eighteen symphonies, which have a strong narrative element, some reflecting Jewish themes, others inspired by Karelia and Finland. Symphony No. 17, Joy of Life (which Bruk also calls a ‘Concerto-Symphony for Orchestra and Piano’), has an autobiographical programme charting, in abstract terms, Bruk’s surmounting of the obstacles fate put in his path. Symphony No. 18 takes as its starting point a Latvian-Jewish folksong: it is premised on the deportation of his grandparents from their Latvian home, in an anti-Semitic campaign by Tsarist Russia that Bruk sees as a kind of prologue to the Holocaust.
Gertruda Jerjomenko, piano Anda Eglīte, kokle (Tracks 4–11) Liepāja Symphony Orchestra Māris Kupčs, conductor
Catalogue No: TOCC0455EAN/UPC: 5060113444554Release Date: 01.02.2018Composer: Fridrich Bruk Artists: Anda Eglīte, Gertruda Jerjomenko, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, Māris Kupčs
Download the Booklet
Symphony No. 18, Daugavpils (2017) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0455/Track04.mp3
David Hackbridge Johnson :
I’m really finding the Bruk disc fascinating. No. 18 is full of magic – what a sound he gets out of the unusual orchestra! And the heart rending fragments of folk music that are always swamped by more threatening forces. To have that kind of discursive interplay seems quite new. An uneasy enchantment. Hope there are more discs to come!
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