Mihkel Kerem: Orchestral and Chamber Music

Catalogue No: TOCC0173
EAN/UPC: 5060113441737
Release Date: 2013-06-03
Composer: Mihkel Kerem
Artists: Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Mikk Murdvee, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Tallinn Ensemble

The Estonian violinist Mihkel Kerem (born in Tallinn in 1981) is familiar as a performer in Britain as well as at home; he is also a prolific composer, with over one hundred works to his credit, three symphonies among them. The three-movement Third (2003) and the Lamento for viola and strings (2008-9) lie downstream from Shostakovich and Boris Tishchenko, whereas the String Sextet (2004), cast in a single half-hour span, has its musical starting-point and initial poetic impulse in Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht but also manifests the polyphonic lyricism of Strauss' Metamorphosen. All three works are concerned with the expression of human emotions in music, in the Third Symphony and Lamento with the struggle of the individual voice against oppressive ideology.

Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, orchestra
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, chamber orchestra
Tallinn Ensemble, ensemble
Mikk Murdvee, viola, conductor

3 reviews for Mihkel Kerem: Orchestral and Chamber Music

  1. :

    ‘…The tension of the music is effortlessly prolonged by the Estonian forces; the superb recording (made in the Estonian Concert Hall in Tallinn) only serves to reinforce the importance of the musical events, allowing the listener to hear with clarity the full expressive weight of Kerem’s utterance…I enjoyed this release enormously. Kerem is an interesting composer of great skill, and he clearly has something to say. He also has an economy of means which he uses to say it.’

    —Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine

  2. :

    ‘This equally excellent follow-up [disc] gives music lovers the opportunity to hear Kerem’s skill and imagination applied on the symphonic scale, as well as in a pair of larger-scale chamber works, all in premiere recordings. […]

    The Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, though little known outside eastern Europe, can boast a fifty-year association with Neeme Järvi and a sizeable discography championing many regional composers. Under Mikk Murdvee’s direction the listener finds them here in compelling form. [.]]]

    The Tallinn Ensemble – including Murdvee now on violin! – have the technique and endurance for a persuasive reading of this imposing addition [string sextet] to the string sextet repertoire.

    Sound quality is very good throughout.’

    —Byzantion, MusicWeb International

  3. :

    ‘I have to applaud the good folks at Toccata Classics for their releases of unknown repertoire this year: symphonic works of de Hartmann and Spoliansky have been really pleasant surprises that have enriched my listening experiences immeasurably. To these I can now personally add a 2013 release of twenty-first century music by the Estonian composer Mihkel Kerem, which I now have the pleasure of reviewing as a download. […]

    I found this 26-minute symphony to be absorbing and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Shostakovich; it is both accessible and powerful music. […]

    For those who would normally shy away from ‘modern music’, let alone material written in the twenty-first century, this release could be a welcome and, indeed, very pleasant surprise. It is extremely well and idiomatically played by the Estonian National SO under Mikk Murdvee, who is also the viola soloist in the Lamento; it is also in excellent sound, whether on compact disc, or in either of the download options. The notes are written by the composer himself. Much credit must be given to Toccata Classics once again for this release.’

    —Lee Denham, MusicWeb International

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