In her native country Ester Mägi (b. 1922) is known as 'the First Lady of Estonian music’. A much-loved figure at home, Mägi is now beginning to enjoy a reputation further afield, where her incorporation of elements of Estonian folk-music into classical forms is being recognised as a fresh and original contribution to European art-music.
Ada Kuuseoks, piano Mati Mikalai, piano Tarmo Pajusaar, clarinet Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, orchestra Arvo Volmer, conductor Mihkel Kütson, conductor
Piano Concerto (1953) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0054/TOCC0054t02.mp3
Symphony (1968) https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0054/TOCC0054t07.mp3
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Catalogue No: TOCC0054EAN/UPC: 5060113440549Release Date: 26.06.2007Composer: Ester Mägi Artists: Ada Kuuseoks, Arvo Volmer, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Mati Mikalai, Mihkel Kütson, Tarmo Pajusaar
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Nicholas Salwey :
“This is fascinating repertoire, beautifully played and recorded, and well worth seeking out.” —Nicholas Salwey, International Record Review
Guy Rickards :
“The performances – recorded between 1992 and 2002 by Estonian Radio – are excellent, their remastering splendidly executed by Raphaele Mouterde. An absolute gem of a disc, strongly recommended.” —Guy Rickards, Gramophone
International Piano :
“Mägi’s distinctive brand of folksong-oriented post-Nationalism can be savoured to the full in the three-movement piano concerto, which although composed in 1953 could almost have been comosed 100 years earlier. The Variations (1972) show a significant advance in idion – by then the less acerbic side of Bartók has become part of the stylistic mix. Authoritative performances, glowingly engineered.” —International Piano
Patric Standford :
“Mägi has no great concern for public acclaim — a fact that allowed her to avoid state commissions under Soviet control and remain an independent voice, but she certainly deserves to be heard now.” —Patric Standford, Music & Vision
David Anthony Hollingsworth :
Five Star Amazon Review
Yasunori Kikuchi :
Today I bought this album (mp3) from ClassicsOnline and have listened some. Very attractive and easy. As Ester Mägi is our contemporary, but I dare to say it’s not significant whether her music is old or new. Fine music is always fine. Especially her Piano Concerto is great (performance also). I know the conductor Arvo Volmer is one of the specialists of Sibelius Symphonies, but I think his talent is more active for conducting his native Estonian music.I hope another music by Baltic female composer, like Lūcija Garūta (Latvian) would be recorded for worldwide – Garūta also composed her beautiful romantic Piano Concerto in 1951 and I love the work very much…To go back to the subject, Mägi’s Symphony is energetic, rhythmical, and colourful. Should we call her as Estonian Khachaturian? Anyway thank you very much for finest music!
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