Anu Tali brings action, passion and illusion to Sibelius

Estonian conductor Anu Tali adds to her growing fame with this excellent CD.

Composer: Sibelius, Rachmaninov and  Erkki-Sven Tüür
Repertoire: 'Action Passion Illusion'
Artists: Nordic SO/Anu Tali
Genre: Instrumental
Label: Warner 2564 61992-2

This disc has variety, brilliant playing, exquisite poetry and large forces. The State Choir of Latvia and the elite Nordic SO (managed by Anu’s twin sister Kadri) perform with passion and precision under Tali’s expressive baton.

The disc opens as an epic might, with the huge primal-energy chords of Zeitraum by Erkki-Sven Tüür, Arvo Pärt’s successor as the foremost Estonian composer. The succulent dissonances glisten alarmingly before the influence of Sibelius is heard in running quavers under long-held chords. Sibelius himself then creates a gather-round atmosphere in The Wood Nymph, a Swedish-language poem on the dangerous attractions of the uncivilised forest, delivered here with gripping intensity by narrator Lasse Pöysti (a translation is provided).

Tüür’s Action Passion Illusion then follows with chunky rhythms and swirling maelstrom chords, a melodic line emerging like a life-form from the soupy void, and a heavy, urgent, exciting hoedown. As a finale, Rachmaninov’s Three Russian Songs cannot be bettered. The last of them explodes in half-whispered passion to a folk text that shows magnificent disregard for political correctness. Yippee! A winner.