Heino Eller: Complete Piano Music, Volume Five

Catalogue No: TOCC0225
EAN/UPC: 5060113442253
Release Date: 2014-03-03
Composer: Heino Eller
Artists: Sten Lassmann

This fifth volume in Sten Lassmann's complete survey of the piano music of the Estonian composer Heino Eller (1887-1970) contains two works of central importance: the Preludes, Book II (1920), are Eller's highest achievement in a modernist-expressionist style, and the Bartókian 13 Pieces on Estonian Motifs (1940-41) mark his turn to the folk-like style favoured in the Soviet period. They are joined by a group of attractive, mostly early, miniatures and a prentice set of variations in the Romantic, virtuoso tradition.

Sten Lassmann, piano

Listen To This Recording:

  1. Caprice in F sharp minor (1911)
  2. Romanze in F sharp major (1914)
  3. Molto vivo in F sharp minor (mid-1910s)
  4. Nocturne in B major (1915)
  5. Presto in F sharp major (mid-1910s)
  6. Lyric Waltz (1930–31, later rev.)
  7. Waltz in B major (1931)
  8. Small Waltz (1935)
  9. Méditation (1936)
  10. Preludes, Book II (1920)

  11. No. 1 Lento pensieroso
  12. No. 2 Andante con espressione
  13. No. 3 Allegro agitato
  14. No. 4 Sostenuto
  15. No. 5 Allegretto capriccioso
  16. No. 6 Spiritoso
  17. No. 7 Grave
  18. Theme and Variations in E major (1912)

  19. Theme: Andantino
  20. Variation I: Allegretto
  21. Variation II: Moderato assai
  22. Variation III: Allegro
  23. Variation IV: Adagio
  24. Variation V: Vivace
  25. 13 Pieces on Estonian Motifs (1940–41)

  26. No. 1 Andantino
  27. No. 2 Vivo
  28. No. 3 Allegretto pastorale
  29. No. 4 Allegro
  30. No. 5 Andante sostenuto
  31. No. 6 Presto scherzando
  32. No. 7 Alla ballata
  33. No. 8 Allegro con brio
  34. No. 9 Lento
  35. No. 10 Allegretto grazioso
  36. No. 11 Allegro giusto
  37. No. 12 Vivace
  38. No. 13 Moderato assai

1 review for Heino Eller: Complete Piano Music, Volume Five

  1. :

    ‘…Eller’s Méditation dates from what Lassmann refers to as “a golden period in Eller’s oeuvre.” I find it to be the most compelling piece on this disc. An interval of a major second, sounded in the bass and answered by a treble motif outlining a perfect fifth, appears throughout the opening section beneath a long-phrased melancholic melody featuring descending fourths, creating a spacious, somber atmosphere. The piece becomes increasingly rhapsodic, culminating in emphatic minor-ninth chords and rapid treble arpeggios before returning to the opening material. The final moments convey a sense of despairing resignation. In this piece, Eller demonstrates an impressive ability to produce a significant emotional impact with a great economy of musical material. The nearly omnipresent opening motif never feels repetitive or unwelcome; instead, it is clearly the axis around which the drama of the piece revolves. …Lassmann’s playing is confident and expressive throughout the disc. Eller’s music has moments of impressive technical display, and Lassmann is more than capable in his execution of these moments. His lyrical passages are expressive and songlike, and his musical choices strike me as being stylistically apt. The recording itself is well-engineered, with a clean piano sound. Eller’s music is well worth exploring.’

    —Myron Silberstein, Fanfare Magazine, September/October 2014

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