• Erkki-Sven Tüür
  • Insula Deserta (1989)
    (for string orchestra)

  • Henry Litolff’s Verlag GmbH & Co. KG (World)

für Streichorchester

  • str
  • 9 min
    • 1st November 2024, Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, London, United Kingdom
    • 6th November 2024, Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, London, United Kingdom
    View all

Programme Note

Erkki-Sven Tüür has written a considerable part of his instrumental and orchestral output on commission. The composition Insula Deserta, which was finished on 4th August 1989, was commissioned by the East Botnian Chamber Orchestra and draws its inspiration from the composer's homeland, a small 'forgotten island'. 

The piece lasts about nine minutes, and is a poetic portrait of this island using minimalist techniques. From a soft beginning in D (which defines the whole piece) a melody develops to which all the strings contribute, divided up into solo voices. This first part flows into a middle section of phrygian tonality that evolves from a 10-part canon proceeding in quavers. The rhythmic activity gradually increases, culminating in a rhythmical pattern influenced by jazz and rock music, which dissolves into the cluster-like chord heard at the beginning. The composition ends in D minor with references to the first two parts, which draw their charm from, amongst other things, the treatment of the low strings in the closing section.