As both composer and teacher Heino Eller (1887-1970) was one of the founders of the classical tradition in his native Estonia. Yet his copious output for piano — some 200 works —is largely unknown, an omission this series of seven CDs seeks to redress. Volume Two presents compositions from six decades: charming romantic miniatures, virtuoso showpieces, expressionist preludes and quirky folk-pieces. The main item is his Theme and Variations from 1939 — one of his best works for piano, but not published or recorded before now.
Sten Lassmann, piano
Eight Pieces (1948)
Preludes, Book III (1921t32)
Moderato assai (Theme and Variations) (1939)
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Catalogue No: TOCC0132EAN/UPC: 5060113441324Release Date: 23.04.2012Composer: Heino Eller Artists: Sten Lassmann
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Paul Ballyk :
“… I was drawn to Eller’s music from the opening tracks, and only became more enamored as the music played on. The deal that this would be an Uncommonly Classical recommendation was sealed about 25 minutes in as I listened to the potent and darkly beautiful Episode from Revolutionary Times (1917). This alone is worth the price of the CD. … Performances by pianist Sten Lassmann … are excellent. …” —Paul Ballyk, Expedition Audio
Jonathan Woolf :
“…It’s immediately approachable, unacademic but is not frivolous; there are hints of Grieg and of Chopin, and there is a small but slight folkloric inheritance too. It’s the fresh Sonatina, composed at some time in the late 50s, that reveals the lyric freshness of his writing and the hints of folklore. There’s no development section as such, but this easy-going work is an ideal introduction to Eller, for whom nothing was doctrinaire. …Clearly Eller was channelling Lisztian virtuosity in this period [1909-1917] and in the more reflective ones, Chopin. One piece stands apart, the big, brooding Episode from Revolutionary Times, a large-scale funeral march that opens like Liszt’s Sonata and offers a brief moment of reprieve along its gloomy process. It’s impressively sustained. …Lassmann proves a faultless guide throughout this volume, relishing the opportunities for crispness and geniality provided by Eller.” MusicWeb International
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