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Tuur: Canticum Canticorum Caritatis

Tuur: Canticum Canticorum Caritatis

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This album contains a selection of key a cappella choral works by Erkki-Sven Tüür. For the Estonian composer born in 1959, words and music are intimately linked. The number of syllables in a word, the position of the tonic accent, and the word as a cultural phenomenon with a definite meaning are of essential importance. This can be heard in the Kyrie of his Missa Brevis (2013) where, like a spiral, the polyphony of the voices is transformed into a chordal texture at the beginning of the ‘Christe eleison’, and then dissolves into individual voices at the second ‘Kyrie eleison’.

Canticum Canticorum Caritatis (2020) is inspired by St Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians. Tüür dedicated this work to Endrik Üksvärav and Collegium Musicale, the performers on this album. The multidimensional Omnia Mutantur (2020) possesses an extremely clear structure, interweaving the famous thoughts of Ovid and Virgil about the transient nature of all things. Triglosson Trishagion (2008), indebted to the Orthodox tradition and sung in Estonian, Russian and Greek, and Wanderer’s Evening Song (2001) complete this program, which is characterized by a meditative, interiorized approach to the composer.


Erkki-Sven Tüür is one of the most important Estonian composers of the 20th/21st century, and this album pays outstanding tribute to him with an insight into his work for a cappella choir.

The Collegium Musicale under Endrik Üksvärä succeeds again and again in disentangling the dense sound textures of Tüür’s music, transforming them into a floating sound of delicate intimacy, which now and then can also be very expressive and decisive – for example in the Credo of the Missa Brevis.

The album bears the title of the most recent work on this recording – Canticum canticorum caritatis from 2020 – in which the central concept of caritas is the musical and interpretive focus.

The last work on the recording – Rändaja õhtulaul/Wanderer’s Nightsong – is no less expressive, with recourse to Gregorian chant. Here, too, the Collegium Musicale hits the mood right on the nose time and again: the trembling dreams, the calls from eternity, wrapped in mystically suggestive interpretations.

-- Pizzicato

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Alpha
    • UPC/Barcode: 3760014199172
    • Item Number: ALPHA917