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 eight CDs seeks to redress. This fourth volume presents Eller's First Sonata, a Romantic work of gigantic proportions, composed for his final exam at the Petrograd Conservatory, as well as a number of miniatures, including one of his most popular pieces, Butterfly, and ends with the sage but passionate Ballade in C sharp minor from 1955.
Sten Lassmann, piano
Six Pieces (1953) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0209/TOCC0209t10.mp3
Catalogue No: TOCC0209EAN/UPC: 5060113442093Release Date: 02.09.2013Composer: Heino Eller Artists: Sten Lassmann
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Seth Blacklock :
Eller’s piano music, although sometimes quite demanding, comes across as very well-meaning, a characteristic which is displayed throughout this disc, even at moments in the large-scale Sonata. The shorter works here are the more appealing in my opinion, Lassmann handling them with delicacy, liveliness where needed, and just the right amount of intimacy. Where the performance lacks, for me, is in the Sonata, which needs more Scriabinesque urgency and drama. Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable disc and the sound is up to Toccata’s usual excellent standards.
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