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Conversio for violin and piano

Erkki Tüür (b. 1959)

Pekka Kuusisto (photo credit: Kaapo Kamu)

Pekka Kuusisto (photo credit: Kaapo Kamu)

Composer
Erkki Tüür (b. 1959)
Composition Year
1994
Artists
Joonas Ahonen [piano], Pekka Kuusisto [violin]

Programme Note Writer:
© Francis Humphrys

We are all subject to the force of gravity, but an unconscious desire to defeat it brings a motif of flying into our dreams.

Tüür started his musical activities in the second half of the seventies as the leader of the progressive rock band In Spe, influenced by the music of King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Mike Oldfield, Frank Zappa, Yes and Genesis. In the second half of the eighties he entered Estonian musical life as a professional composer. He is the author of eight symphonies, several instrumental concertos, a lot of chamber music and an opera. He uses a broad spectrum of compositional techniques, Gregorian chant and minimalism, linear polyphony and microtonality, twelve-tone and sound-field techniques. To describe his attempt to contrast and combine musical opposites – tonality versus atonality, regular repetitive rhythms versus irregular complex rhythms, tranquil meditation versus explosive theatricality – he used the term metalanguage. It would be fair to say that his music takes you places where you do not expect to go.

Conversio is here taken to mean a turning around or revolution. When the music starts it feels like a piece of buoyant American minimalism, but given Erkki-Sven Tüür’s history we quickly realize it will not turn out that simple. Nonetheless a groove is established, neither fast nor slow, that we can settle down to enjoy. Gradually we sense the Conversio creeping up on us like the incoming tide, a gradual but systemic change until we are undeniably in a different world, chords ring out like rifle shots, silence proliferates, the ground shifts under our feet, where will this end? 

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Conversio for violin and piano

Composer: Erkki Tüür (b. 1959)
Performance date: Friday 28th June 2013
Venue: Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,

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Composer Erkki Tüür (b. 1959)
Work Title Conversio for violin and piano
Composition Year 1994
Artist(s) Joonas Ahonen [piano], Pekka Kuusisto [violin]
Performance Date Friday 28th June 2013
Performance Venue Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,
Event Main Evening
Duration 00:10:36
Recording Engineer Damian Chennells, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Duo
Instrumentation vn, pf
Premiere Irish Premiere
Programme Note Writer © Francis Humphrys

We are all subject to the force of gravity, but an unconscious desire to defeat it brings a motif of flying into our dreams.

Tüür started his musical activities in the second half of the seventies as the leader of the progressive rock band In Spe, influenced by the music of King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Mike Oldfield, Frank Zappa, Yes and Genesis. In the second half of the eighties he entered Estonian musical life as a professional composer. He is the author of eight symphonies, several instrumental concertos, a lot of chamber music and an opera. He uses a broad spectrum of compositional techniques, Gregorian chant and minimalism, linear polyphony and microtonality, twelve-tone and sound-field techniques. To describe his attempt to contrast and combine musical opposites – tonality versus atonality, regular repetitive rhythms versus irregular complex rhythms, tranquil meditation versus explosive theatricality – he used the term metalanguage. It would be fair to say that his music takes you places where you do not expect to go.

Conversio is here taken to mean a turning around or revolution. When the music starts it feels like a piece of buoyant American minimalism, but given Erkki-Sven Tüür’s history we quickly realize it will not turn out that simple. Nonetheless a groove is established, neither fast nor slow, that we can settle down to enjoy. Gradually we sense the Conversio creeping up on us like the incoming tide, a gradual but systemic change until we are undeniably in a different world, chords ring out like rifle shots, silence proliferates, the ground shifts under our feet, where will this end?