World Premiere of "Phantasma" - new work for sinfonietta-size orchestra Apr 3rd 2019

Commissioned by Kymi Sinfonietta, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the new work will be premiered by Kymi Sinfonietta in Kotka on April 3. Subsequent performances on April 4 in Kouvola and April 5 in Helsinki. Next performance at Suntory Hall with Yomiuri Nippon SO in Tokyo on the 17th of April. All performances will be conducted by Olari Elts.

Erkki-Sven Tüür has written about the new piece:

Had my father, as a boy during World War II, not stumbled upon the overture Coriolanus by L. van Beethoven on the radio, I probably would not have become a composer at all. Apparently, this experience astonished him utterly and completely ­– he had never known that this kind of music could even exist. From that moment he consciously started searching for information about who this Beethoven really was and what else he had composed. This search led him to gradually discover the entire heritage of classical music; by the time I was born, he had a very impressive record collection for his time. And this is how I grew up – in a world of sound created by the compositions my father constantly listened to.

Before I started composing Phantasma I heard from conductor Olari Elts – who is an important catalyst for composing this piece – that many orchestras have inquired whether I could somehow create a “link with Beethoven”. And considering the above, this link was born in a very natural way: as an opportunity to repay a debt of gratitude and as an homage to L van B.

A specific motif from Coriolanus appears as stealthily as a ghost and disperses as mysteriously as it appeared. As it originates from the supporting structure, a listener who does not know the composition inside out might not even recognize it. However, it is not a goal in itself.
At first, the dramaturgy of music is born from the relations among separate chords, their gradual fusion, the onset of movement and the constant growth of its rhythmical intensity. Another hint – by the time the micro-interval clusters appear in the wind section, the phantom (Phantasma) has arrived. And this presence will be highlighted by certain punctuated rhythmic patterns that I normally do not use.

(translated by Pirjo Jonas)