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Andrew Mellor
Gramophone, December 2019

Tüür’s ‘awakening to the light’ written for Tallinn’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2011 is a work that pivots, and magically so, on the transmutation of textures—in this case bringing human voices into the orchestral mix. Awakening is a radiant and uplifting work, and the illers (The Wanderer’s Evening Song and Insula deserta) are valuable too. © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Vance Wolverton
Choral Journal, December 2014

The EPCC’s delivery of Tüür’s music is an example par excellence of the best in composer/ensemble collaboration. © 2014 Choral Journal

Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, March 2012

Estonian Erkki-Sven Tüür’s Awakening…for chorus and a particularly rich sounding chamber orchestra, is a strikingly beautiful setting of Latin sacred texts and contemporary Estonian poetry all related by the topic of rebirth and resurrection. This is unlike anything I’ve heard from this composer, and it’s one of the most stunning choral works I’ve had the pleasure of hearing for a long time. It’s hypnotic, elevating, and deeply expressive, free of tough dissonance, most of it floating ethereally in the highest regions. If you are devoted to superb choral music miraculously performed (and recorded), don’t miss this.

This is an eye-opening (and ear-opening) release, which firmly establishes Tüür as a major figure. Performances are startling, which shouldn’t come as a surprise from these forces. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Dominy Clements
MusicWeb International, February 2012

Erkki-Sven Tüür’s music has been becoming ever more widely recognised, and ever more refined and luminous. This recording stands as a triumphant representative of this progression.

This is a highly approachable score, full of colourful harmonies and transparent textures, as well as having mysterious depths to go along with the more overtly joyful gestures. Some moments are comparable to the kinds of open musical expression of Americans such as John Adams and Steve Reich, and with the strong Estonian choral tradition pushing the piece onwards like wind in the sails of a galleon. This makes for compulsive listening from beginning to end. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Fanning
Gramophone, February 2012

When the bolder, more stylistically emancipated perspectives of [Tüür’s] recent music meet the direct, almost vibrato-less timbres of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the results are more than musically impressive; they are spiritually stirring.

The booklet essay risks the claim that ‘the listener who encounters [Tüür’s music] is touched, overwhelmed, astonished, exalted, even rendered speechless by the suggestiveness of its sounds, images and the memories it evokes’. A hostage to fortune, perhaps, but for my money the claim is not so wildly exaggerated. Tüür’s shimmering, twinkling, yet at the same time edgy textures may be an acquired taste. I can only say that I feel greatly enriched for having acquired it. © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

David Hurwitz, January 2012

the music itself…is quite attractive.

The performances are all splendid, and so is the sound. …Tüür [is] a composer of real quality… © 2012 Read complete review

Stephen Eddins, December 2011

Ärkamine (Awakening)…deals with the human yearning for higher spiritual awareness experienced through immersion in the natural world, it weaves together idiomatic choral writing with radiant contemporary orchestral colors. The Wanderer’s Evening Song, an unaccompanied choral work…also address the interconnectedness of nature and spirituality. Its beginning reflects the meditative atmosphere of twilight using imagery of a northern forest, but it progresses toward a surging ecstasy of a soul’s awakening, expressed in music of tremendous excitement, that recalls the powerful choral pulsing in Reich’s The Desert Music. Daniel Reuss draws gorgeous performances from the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and Sinfonietta Riga, who sing and play with sumptuous tone and spacious expressiveness. Ondine’s sound is full, warmly detailed, and realistically present. Highly recommended for fans of new orchestral and choral music. © 2011 Read complete review

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