Conductor and music director of the Nordic Symphony Orchestra Anu Tali belongs to the new generation of open-minded young conductors who are searching for fresh ideas. The Nordic Symphony Orchestra was founded as the Estonian – Finnish Symphony Orchestra by Anu Tali and her twin sister Kadri Tali in order to develop cultural contacts between Estonia and Finland and to involve musicians from all over the world.
The CD contains two pieces by the undoubted leader of contemporary Estonian music – and a major figure on the international stage – Erkki-Sven Tüür. His output is characterised by a striking openness to different kinds of material: it incorporates elements from Modernism – atonality, clusters, polyrhythms, sound-fields – and more traditional writing – triadic harmony, diatony, modality – in (initially, at least) a generally Minimalist style which preceding generations of Estonian composers had developed from the heritage of regilaul, Estonia’s traditional runic song. This reconciliation of disparate musical worlds was a central feature of Tüür’s writing in the early part of his career, when Zeitraum and Action Passion Illusion were composed.
Jean Sibelius’ melodrama The Wood Nymph was written to a text by the Swedish poet Viktor Rydberg – one of a number of works for recitation and orchestra he composed, largely in the 1880s and 1890s.
Three Russian Songs were written by Sergey Rachmaninov after he left the Soviet Union. The piece occupied Rachmaninov intermittently for several years. They were completed and orchestrated in the second half of 1926 and dedicated to Leopold Stokowski, who gave the premiere with the Philadelphia Orchestra in March 1927.