Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi and Triin Ruubel-Lilleberg recorded Violin Concerto by Elgar and Two Sentimental Romances by Stenhammar

09. July 2020.

In early July, a recording with the works of two contemporaries who lived in different countries – England and Sweden – was released. Under the baton of Neeme Järvi, ENSO, and violin soloist Triin Ruubel-Lilleberg, who has been the concertmaster of ENSO since 2015, recorded the famous Violin Concerto by Edward Elgar and Two Sentimental Romances by Wilhelm Stenhammar for the American record company Sorel Classics.

‘Elgar’s Violin Concerto is so epic in its dimensions and density of content. The drama and depth of this concerto are beautifully highlighted by ENSO’s diverse sound palette. It was fascinating to discover this wonderful musical score during the recording with my dear colleagues from ENSO (ERSO) and maestro Neeme Järvi,’ said Triin Ruubel-Lilleberg. ‘Neeme Järvi can find exceptionally beautiful nuances in music,’ the soloist added.

Both Edward Elgar (1857–1934) and Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871–1927) were renowned composers and musicians in their home country: Stenhammar in Sweden and Elgar in England. In the annotation of the record, musicologist Evelin Kõrvits writes the following about Elgar’s Violin Concerto, which he composed in 1910: ‘Elgar’s Violin Concerto in B minor pays proper respect to the traditions of the classical concerto. /…/ The author marks the soloist’s entry with the notation nobilmente (‘with grandeur’), a term invented by Elgar, which he used repeatedly in his work. /…/ Of the final section of the violin part, Elgar has said, ‘This is where two souls merge and melt into one another.’ The soloist’s chance to shine comes in the third part, in the centre of which is a colourful cadence, accompanied by the orchestra – Elgar’s most novel and beautiful creation – which, according to the composer, ‘sings of memories and hope’.

Triin Ruubel-Lilleberg introduces Wilhelm Stenhammar to the audience as a pianist and composer who, like Elgar, was self-taught. ‘Stenhammar’s Two Sentimental Romances were composed in the same year as Elgar’s Violin Concerto. Stenhammar’s romances are not sentimental merely in the sweet key we know today. There is also more emotional diversity in this early twentieth-century Swedish sentimentality – from bright blissfulness to dark tempestuousness,’ Triin Ruubel-Lilleberg commented.

Triin Ruubel-Lilleberg also played as a soloist on Kapp. Lüdig. Lemba, a recording of Estonian music for the British record company Chandos which was released this spring. Neeme Järvi also conducts ENSO on this record, and the second soloist is pianist Mihkel Poll.

The new album by Neeme Järvi, Triin Ruubel-Lilleberg, and ENSO with Elgar’s and Stenhammar’s works is available on online platforms Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music.