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"Joonatan Jürgenson (piano), Rene Laur (saxophone). "Pictures of childhood""  

Magazine Muusika,  December 2021  

Tiiu Sisask

"The Saxophone Sonata, which my brother Pert received, is much sharper in its own way - namely, the unique tone of the instrument does not go well with the sharp, percussion-like timbre of the piano, and there is an internal conflict between these two instruments, which at first seems quite sharp." The slightly dramatic and internally tense Tubina sonata was also the first piece played together by the duo of Jürgenson and Lauri. The synergy that their duo has developed over the years does not allow the listener to be distracted for a moment. Both performers occupy the necessary musical space and navigate the role of ensemble player or soloist as needed. They fit together - you can clearly hear that on the album.

A few decades after the Tubina sonata was created (1951), Kareva wrote his sonatas for saxophone and piano. In these works, the piano/saxophone combination is much less contrasting than in the Tubina sonata. All three Kareva sonatas are tightly composed and have a complex texture. Fast and bubbling rhythm parts alternate with thoughtful and lyrical sections, the duo performs them with special depth and conviction.

It's good that ordering from young composers has not disappeared anywhere. The album's last, three-part title track of Jonas Feliks Tarmi's "Pictures from childhood" is an important addition to the collection of Estonian saxophone/piano duos. This multifaceted and interesting-sounding piece takes the listener back to the composer's childhood. For me, the second part of the piece seemed completely unexpected and at the same time perfectly sums up the album. This most personal, unearthly beautiful and bright part of the entire album is dedicated to Tarmi's recently departed childhood friend Liis. Here, the combination of piano and saxophone is almost angelic. The slow moving long melodies of the soprano saxophone together with the airy accompaniment of the piano take the listener to a timeless cosmic space where there is nothing but beauty and peace. The collaboration between Jürgenson and Lauri on the new album is detailed, multi-layered and truly enjoyable.

Rene Laur, Joonatan Jürgenson, JJ 2021

In October of this year, pianist Joonatan Jürgenson and saxophonist Rene Lauri released the album "Pictures from childhood". The album features a selection of the most important Estonian saxophone and piano chamber works. In essence, it is a journey through time through the works of Estonian composers: the record begins with the first work written for such a composition, Eduard Tubina's sonata for alto saxophone and piano. The record ends with the newest one - "Pictures from childhood" by Jonas Feliks Tarmi, a young Estonian composer living in New York. Between these two works is a classic of Estonian saxophone music - three sonatas for alto saxophone and piano by Hillar Karevat. It is interesting to observe how the harmony of timbres changes in the works. Eduard Tubin writes about his saxophone sonata in 1958 to the violinist Evald Turgan:

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