26.04.–05.05.2024 / Tartu
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Sun, May 5
Sten Lassmann (piano)

Tartu Heino Eller Music School
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Tickets: 21/15 €

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Eduard Tubin (1905‒1982) – Three preludes (1934/35)
1. Moderato sostenuto, espressivo
2. A Moment. An Estonian Motif. Andante
3. A Moment. Marciale sostenuto

Riho Esko Maimets (s. 1988) – floating, adagio (2024, premiere)

Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875‒1911) – Six preludes Op. 33 (1909)

Lepo Sumera (1950‒2000) – Sonata (1971)

Mart Saar (1882‒1963) – Skizze (1910)

Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875‒1911) – Sea, three pieces for piano, Op. 28 (1908)
I Moderato, II Andante, III Allegro impetuoso

Alo Põldmäe (s 1945) – Solar Flare Chant Op. 87 (2024, premiere) 8’

Jāzeps Vītols (1863‒1948) – By the Sea Op. 43 no 1 (1914)
In the Moonlight, two pieces Op. 41 (1910): no 1 “Lullaby”, no 2 “Song of the Waves”


Kolm prelüüdi (Three Preludes, 1934/1935) is among his earlier works and reflects an interest in Estonian themes.

Riho Esko Maimets: I wrote floating, adagio (2024, premiere) in a state of anguish and confusion. When I first began to conceive the piece almost a year ago, I imagined something exquisite and nebulous, floating ever so slowly somewhere in the distance. This escapist fantasy came to an abrupt end when I saw images of terrified and orphaned children trembling with fear, grasping at each other for some kind of comfort, moments after their home had been pulverised by an air strike.

Sonata belongs to Sumera’s earlier oeuvre. It was written in 1971 during his studies and is dedicated to pianist Peep Lassmann. This might be a premiere, since the dedicatee and the composer’s daughter Kadri-Ann Sumera knew nothing of the existence of the piece or its performances.

One of the most exquisite examples of Mart Saar’s modern style was the piano piece Skizze (1910), which, in its atonal aspirations, somewhat resembles the quests of Arnold Schönberg, his innovative contemporary in Germany, although Saar knew nothing of his existence. Having been born in the midst of woods and marshes, the Estonian composer soon distanced himself from this style and turned to folk songs which became the main source for his oeuvre. Although Mart Saar has also written many piano pieces and solo songs, it was choral songs that became his main creative niche.

Päikeseloite loits (Solar Flare Chant) for piano, Op. 87 (2024, premiere). Alo Põldmäe: I was inspired by the keyword “Umwelt”, which allows one to see the world from a perspective outside the ordinary. The solar flares and protuberances on the Sun have a daily effect on all of us, but it still largely remains outside the limits of human perception. I tried to combine those sound “events” emanating from solar flares to the chanting nature of Estonian runic songs.

This piece is dedicated to Sten Lassmann.

Sten Lassmann is one of the most outstanding pianists in Estonia and has found acclaim in Estonia as well as abroad. For the past ten years, he has dedicated himself to recording the entire piano oeuvre of one of the most essential Estonian composers, Heino Eller. Now it has been released fully in a series of 9 CDs in collaboration with Toccata Classics. For the Estonian Music Days, Lassmann has compiled an exciting programme including Estonian piano music since its beginning (Mart Saar) through the 20th century (Eduard Tubin, Lepo Sumera) until today (two premieres: Riho Esko Maimets and Alo Põldmäe). As a contrast or comparison, the programme also boasts works by the most important Lithuanian and Latvian composers from the first half of the 20th century: Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis ja Jāzeps Vītols.