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Heino Eller (1887-1970) Father of Modern Estonian Music – Lyric Say

There’s nothing I like higher than attending to know and discover lesser-known classical music and composers. After all, notoriety and fame are fully relative, however I haven’t been uncovered to the huge musical universes exterior the traditional mainstream. Have you ever?

Heino Eller, 1957

Heino Eller, 1957

And to inform you the reality, the identify Heino Eller was fully unknown to me. However once I learn an article and listened to the music posted on Interlude by my colleague Georg, I simply knew that I needed to discover extra of his highly effective and fantastic music. Since Heino Eller celebrated his birthday in March 1887, it’s solely becoming that we current a bit of birthday tribute.

Heino Eller: Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra

So, who was Heino Eller? He’s described as “one of the central figures in Estonian classical music, linking all parts of it into a coherent narrative, from the inception of a national culture to the modern day.” That could be a very severe description certainly, particularly as he’s hardly recognized exterior his native Estonia. One factor for positive, nonetheless, is that Eller clearly performed an important function in his nation’s musical growth, not solely as a composer but in addition as an educator and instructor.

Heino Eller: Piano Music in People Tune (Sten Lassmann, piano)

Eller was born in Tartu, and he spent his childhood surrounded by music. He took personal violin and music principle classes, and he performed in a number of ensembles and orchestras, even performing as a violin soloist. His skilled coaching started comparatively late, as he entered the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1907 to check violin with Prof. E. Krüger. Nevertheless, he was additionally enrolled within the School of Legislation, partaking in musical instruction on the facet.

Heino Eller: Andantino in B minor (Sten Lassmann, piano)

Heino Eller and his brother

Heino Eller and his brother

Previous to the institution of the Tallinn Conservatory, now referred to as the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Estonian musicians flocked to the Conservatory in St Petersburg, an enormous metropolis with a booming musical and creative life. The musical core of town was, doubtless, the conservatory based by Anton Rubinstein in 1862. With modifications within the political local weather, it turned the Petrograd Conservatory, the Leningrad Conservatory, and finally a faculty of music named after Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Heino Eller: Daybreak (Koit)

Through the first years of his compositional exercise, Eller targeted on works for the piano and quick orchestral items. He appears to fuse the classical and romantic traditions, taking a lyrical-romantic affect from Chopin, Grieg, Rachmaninoff and Scriabin. His piano music additionally sounds robust impressionist and expressionist options, and his Piano Sonata No. 1 is Estonia’s “first artistically mature piano sonata.”

The First Sonata was a commencement work for the Petrograd Conservatoire and was first carried out at Eller’s remaining examination. The examination was chaired by the director of the Conservatoire, Alexander Glazunov, and the panel included Nikolay Sokolov, Maximilian Steinberg, son-in-law of Rimsky Korsakov, and Vasily Kalafati. Quite a lot of illustrious musicians have been within the viewers, together with Lyapunov, Tcherepnin, and Vladimir Sofrontisky, the piano instructor of Shostakovich.

Heino Eller: Piano Sonata No. 1 (Sten Lassmann, piano)

Caricature of Heino Eller

Caricature of Heino Eller

Glazunov wrote in his report, “Refined compositional talent, good musician, fresh thoughts, interesting rhythmic contours, more independence in regard to musical form is advisable.” The Sonata didn’t fare effectively, because it was not carried out once more throughout Eller’s lifetime. It’s a daunting and difficult piece, with a dense polyphonic texture and a extremely virtuosos piano half. Eller referred to as it “a whole big symphony that has too many notes.”

Heino Eller: Symphonic Legend (Estonian Nationwide Symphony Orchestra; Olari Elts, cond.)

Heino Eller graduated from the then-named Petrograd Conservatory in 1920, and he started to show composition in his hometown. From 1920-1940, Eller was a member of the music principle and composition school on the Greater Faculty of Music. Based on consultants, he laid the muse for the Tartu composition faculty, which was extremely influential in Estonian music within the first half of the Twentieth century. He initially counted Eduard Tubin, Eduard Oja, Olav Roots, Alfred Karindi, Johannes Bleive, and the musicologist Karl Leichter amongst his college students.

Heino Eller: Sonata for Violin and Piano

Throughout his time on the Greater Faculty of Music, Eller’s music is based on modes and interval buildings from Estonian folks music. A scholar writes, “the northern colouring of Eller’s music places it close to Grieg while his refined nervous tension and impetuousness align him with Skryabin.”

Heino Eller: Estonian Dance (Sten Lassmann, piano)

Heino Eller's autograph

Heino Eller’s autograph

To consultants conversant in Eller’s music, “there are strong Scandinavian shadows, but his use of Estonian folk music lends his language a rather distinctive feel when one comes closer to it.” The Elegia for harp and strings was composed in 1931. It’s described as an “impassioned threnody on the strings before a dialogue involving solo viola and harp emerges, which almost suggests that Eller had some Gallic sympathies.”

Heino Eller: Elegy for String and Harps (Scottish Nationwide Orchestra; Neeme Järvi, cond.)

From 1940 to his dying, Eller was Professor of composition on the Tallinn Conservatoire, the place Villem Kapp, Kaljo Raid, Boris Kõrver, Anatoli Garšnek, Leo Normet, Valter Ojakäär, Uno Naissoo, Arne Oit, Jaan Rääts, Heino Jürisalu, Arvo Pärt, Alo Põldmäe and Lepo Sumera have been amongst his most vital college students. Eller’s music already had proven clear influences of folk-music, however he solely began to make use of literal folkloric sources after 1940.

When he took up his tutorial place in Tallinn, Estonia had already been occupied by the Soviet Union and all elements of life have been reorganised alongside Soviet traces. Within the arts, that meant a doctrine of Socialist Realism below the official slogan “national in form, socialist in content.” Each composer was effectively conscious that failure to evolve to Soviet guidelines would end in exclusion from the Union of Soviet Composers. Not solely was the music banned, excluded composers weren’t even allowed to purchase manuscript paper.

Heino Eller: Estonian Suite (Sten Lassmann, piano)

The founding father of recent musicology, Guido Adler from Vienna College described Eller’s music as a continuation of “Grieg’s Northern stye and a successful synthesis of impressionism and expressionism.” He even referred to as him the “Estonian Sibelius.” Through the early years of the Soviet occupation, nonetheless, Eller was severely criticised and labelled the “leading formalist.” He was even compelled to jot down and browse aloud throughout a radio broadcast a letter of repentance renouncing his personal music.

The letter of repentance will need to have been effectively acquired as a result of Eller was appointed chair of the organising committee of the Soviet Estonian Composers’ Union, and he attended the overall meeting of the Soviet Composers’ Union in Leningrad. By the Nineteen Sixties, he was lauded because the patriarch of Estonian music.

Heino Eller: 8 Items (Sten Lassmann, piano)

Heino Eller and Arvo Pärt

Heino Eller and Arvo Pärt

The Soviet system heaped excessive reward on Eller, as he was awarded the title of Merited Artwork Employee of the Estonian SSR (1945), Folks’s Artist of the Estonian SSR (1957) and Folks’s Artist of the USSR (1967). He additionally received the Prize of the Soviet Estonia (1948, 1965) and the Order of Lenin (1965). As you may think, these shiny medals didn’t encourage a substantial amount of respect as soon as Estonia declared independence. Actually, his music and the composer have been initially rapidly forgotten.

Eller’s compositional legacy is huge, as we discover some two dozen works for symphony orchestra, amongst them three symphonies. He additionally composed ten scores for string orchestra, 5 string quartets, two sonatas and numerous miniatures for violin and piano. So far as I do know, not all of those works have been recorded.

Heino Eller: Symphony No. 2, “Andante-Allegro molto” (Estonian Nationwide Symphony Orchestra; Olari Elts, cond.)

The overwhelming majority of his output is present in his piano music, with roughly 2 hundred works which were lately recorded in its entirety. Eller composed music over six a long time and he presents an astonishing wealth of supplies. He definitely addresses lots of the creative tendencies of the Twentieth-Century.

It ranges from a late-Romantic fashion and Scriabin’s influences to a mirrored image of his Nordic heritage. Nevertheless, he additionally probed musical modernism with linear polyphony, ambiguous tonality, and modern harmonies. I hope you loved this quick musical tribute to Heino Eller, and I, for one, will proceed to discover the huge areas of the unknown musical universe.

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Heino Eller: Homeland Melody

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