Järvi, Estonian orchestra make an impressive stand at Kravis Center (Lawrence Budmen, South Florida Classical Review)

The Estonian National Symphony Orchestra proved a real musical sleeper when it played a superb concert at the Kravis Center in 2013. That performance impressively displayed an orchestra of world-class stature from the Baltic nation.

On Monday night the Estonian ensemble returned to West Palm Beach. This time the orchestra’s venerable artistic director and principal conductor Neeme Järvi was on the podium.

Surprisingly the program opened with Homeland Tune by Estonian composer Heino Eller, the work that the orchestra offered as an encore at its previous South Florida appearance. Scored only for strings, this brief sentimental and nationalistic vignette immediately demonstrated the group’s unique sound. With the violins divided on either side of the conductor—six basses on the far left and violas and cellos across the middle–these players produce greater depth of tone than most American or European orchestras. Their corporate sonority is dark and rich.

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