Heino Eller: Videvik (‘Twilight’)
Remembered largely for his orchestral works, Estonian composer Heino Eller is starting to receive the attention he very much deserves. Breakthrough recordings of some of his early orchestral works have begun to surface, showcasing the Estonian classical voice of the 20th century. Videvik was composed in 1917, and is one of Eller’s more well-known tone poems.
Opening with a pastoral string theme, the warm introduction to Videvik really sets the scene effectively. As more voices enter the mix, the intensity slowly creeps up too. The addition of the harp adds a sparkling effect to the music, with the upper woodwind also adding to this atmosphere. The slow unveiling of the twilight can be heard through Eller’s handling of the main melody, as well as the effective orchestration.
As the solo violin takes to a short cadenza, the main string theme from the opening returns. The quiet dynamic opposes the strong cadenza section, creating new voices within the music. The richness of Eller’s orchestrations are admirable, with different instruments serving different purposes within the mix of the twilight landscape. A solo horn makes its presence known near the end of the tone poem, as well as the welcome return of the solo violin. Videvik concludes quietly.
Ⓒ Alex Burns
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