Written piecemeal to individual commissions over a period from 1984 to 1992 these seven pieces do not constitute a formal set as such despite their general uniformity of intent. There are some thematic cross-connections, as between VI and VII, though each Architectonics is an independent unit. The instrumental requirements range from a duo for electric guitar and amplified piano (V, 1991) to an ensemble of winds, percussion and strings (III, Postmetaminimal Dream, 1990), by way of trios, quartets and quintets that take in such exotica as bass clarinets, baritone saxophone or synthesizer. The language is that of the post-minimalist brand of New Simplicity prevalent amongst Erkki-Sven Tüür's countrymen at present, yet there is a clear stylistic evolution from each one to the next, arriving at something rather more expressionist - however euphoniously intoned - in outlook in the later instalments written in the 1990s (IV, Per Cadenza ad Metasimplicity, through VII). This progression is obscured by the running order adopted here (III, VII, I, V, VI, II, IV) though the expressive gains outweigh this. When I encountered the Tallinn CO's account of VI - in its string orchestral version, rather than that for quartet given here - I remarked on its being "well put together and effective", though not particularly architectonic. Listening to the whole set, one gets a clearer view of why Tüür alighted on the title (Fantasia would have done just as well; too prosaic, perhaps). The performances sound superb, highlighting each work's bite and relevance, the recording clear, if a touch cold. Well worth seeking out.
(From: Gramophone, April 1997)