A listening journey in six steps: contemporary women composers in Estonia

Kevin W Ng , 8 April, 2022, Bachtrack
“A listening journey in six steps: contemporary women composers in Estonia”

“Among the younger generation of composers, Elis Hallik (born in 1986) has achieved particular international success. Hallik studied at the Estonian Academy of Music with Helena Tulve and Toivo Tulev, followed by further studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Lyon, France. She has achieved much success in France, with her pieces performed by L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and featuring in the Manifeste Festival organized by Paris’ IRCAM.
Her chamber work To Become a Tree premiered in 2016 at the International Summer Academy Festival at Vienna’s mdw, written for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano. Each instrument seems to exist in its own sonic world, and the piece explores the idea of communication, collaboration, and co-existence inspired by the idea of symbiosis in nature. It begins with all instruments in their upper register before descending into the threatening depths of the bass clarinet, a slow downward glide brings the piece to an abrupt end.
Written amidst the coronavirus pandemic, The Firehearted eventually premiered in 2021. Originally commissioned as part of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra’s Beethoven programme, it draws upon themes from Beethoven’s Leonore overture. Beethoven comes in and out of focus, amplified and distorted by rumbling percussion crashes. It’s witty and somewhat disconcerting, as if seeing Beethoven through a magnifying lens, and displays Hallik’s virtuoso orchestral writing at its most dazzling.”

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