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Erkki-Sven Tuur
1959 -
Picture Picture
E.S. Tüür
Erkki-Sven Tüür (16/10/1959) is one of Estonia's most highly acclaimed contemporary composers, born in Kärdla (Hiiumaa). He began his career as a 'chamber rock' musician and founded the intellectual rock group In spe in Tallinn at the age of seventeen. He was an active member of the group until 1983, acting in it as composer, singer, flautist, keyboard player and percussionist. Erkki-Sven Tüür studied composition from 1979-80 at the Tallinn Music Institute and from 1980-84 at the Tallinn Conservatoire with Jaan Rääts.
Tüür seeks to write music that combines technical know-how with emotional power to develop a musical reality where the two sides - intellectual and emotional - can live together side by side. As a student Tüür was interested both in American minimalism and also the post-serial textures of Ligeti and Xenakis. Both traditions find an echo in his works. His musical architecture is often influenced by visual ideas and he is very interested in a combination of opposites: tonality versus atonality, regular repetitive rhythms versus irregular complex ones, tranquil meditativeness versus explosive theatricality. Tüür's output ranges from chamber music to symphonies, concertos and large scale choral works, among them the oratorio Ante finem saeculi dating from 1985. In Inquiétude du fini for chamber choir and chamber orchestra (1992) Tüür adopts a spiral-formed dramaturgy, integrating both diatonic and 12-tone elements. In the orchestral work Zeitraum (1992) he confronts dark, static and long-held sound blocks with the 'racing time' of kaleidoscopically changing 12-tone structures. The Architectonics series for various chamber ensembles represents Tüür's aspirations at their fullest. The individual works are constructions in which the higher the musical building blocks go, the more they are joined together to form a building. This is also the principle behind the string series Action-Passion-Illusion dating from 1993-94.
Besides oratorio and symphonic works, Erkki-Sven Tüür has written chamber music and electro-acoustic works, and is highly regarded as a composer of film music.
Composed in:1994
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
In memory of:Peeter Lilje
Label(s):ECM 1590 78118-21590
Requiem for soprano, tenor, mixed choir, triangle, piano and strings. His Requiem, written in memory of conductor Peeter Lilje (1950–1993) won the First Prize among ten recommended works at the UNESCO International Composers' Rostrum in Paris in 1995.

♫ Requiem
© ECM Records V31 0159020
Requiem for chorus and orchestra for mixed choir, strings, piano and triangle (1994). Duration: 28'. First performance: 17 November 1994 in Tallinn by the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Chorus, conducted by Tonu Kaljuste and Kaja Urb (soprano) and Tiit Kogermann (tenor).
Requiem (1994) was written in tribute to Peeter Lilje, chief conductor of the Estonian State Orchestra, a close friend of the composer who died in 1993 at the age of 43. Tüür sets the text of the Catholic mass for the dead.
P. Lilje