Rautavaara: Modificata, Incantations, Towards the Horizon (2016)

Rautavaara

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra

John Storgards

Einojuhani Rautavaara (b. 1928) has often said, modifying a well-known quote: “A young composer who is not a Modernist has no heart; an old composer who is a Modernist has no head.” He has practiced what he preaches: his extensive output traces a beautiful arc from the combative experimentalism of youth to the serene wisdom of old age.

Rautavaara’s earliest works, dating from the late 1940s and early 1950s, are couched in Neo-Classicism, the then mainstream style in Finnish concert music. In the 1950s, his idiom began to acquire a sharper edge with his transition to a more Modernist style, including the adoption of twelve-tone technique. One of the first manifestations of this in his output was the orchestral work Modificata (1957). Moving on from dodecaphony and serialism, he sought a different approach in the 1960s and eventually ended up with a synthetic style that could be described as Neo-Romantic, the idiom of his late works. His percussion concerto Incantations (2008) and second cello concerto Towards the Horizon (2009) are fine examples of this period. 

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Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra

The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the oldest professional symphony orchestra in the Nordic countries, was founded as the Helsinki Orchestral Society by the young Robert Kajanus, its first Chief Conductor, in 1882. Well known today for its tradition of performing Sibelius, it also premiered many of his major works, often with the composer himself conducting. The orchestra undertook its first foreign tour to the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1900, and since then it has visited most European countries, in addition to visiting the USA and Japan, both on four occasions. 
The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Ondine have maintained a long-standing exclusive partnership with, among others, an edition of the complete Sibelius symphonies under the direction of Leif Segerstam (ODE 1075-2Q). The new Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra from autumn 2008 will be violinist and conductor John Storgårds, who has been the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor since 2003.

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Rautavaara: Modificata, Incantations, Towards the Horizon (2016)

Rautavaara

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra

    International Record Review

John Storgards and the Helsinki Philharmonic lay down a basic sound of Axminster luxury throughout the album.

[read full review]

    BBC Music Magazine -

A late and lush harvest of works by octogenarian Einojuhani Rautavaara continues apace. Here we have eagerly awaited documentation of his two latest neo-Romantic concertos, in beautifully recorded and definitive performances by the soloists who are their dedicatees. The 2008 Percussion Concerto, entitled Incantations, was both inspired by and written in collaboration with Colin Currie. It’s one of Rautavaara’s most immediate and colourful concertos, framed by a majestic statement of purpose. Its finale is a dizzying dance, whose improvised cadenza seems to point to the soloist as much as the composer as the shaman of the piece. The Cello Concerto No. 2 moves inexorably, as its title suggests, Towards the Horizon. Truls Mørk’s free and graceful flights of endlessly varying and regenerating melody come after a powerful pentatonic opening theme, almost Sibelian in strength. The cello’s voice, both dreamlike and impassioned, is accompanied in its flight by avian woodwind, buffeted here and there by storm clouds of timpani. In between the two concertos, Rautavaara’s revised version of his 1957 12-tone work, the three-movement suite Modificata, forms a well-chosen and sympathetic companion piece.

Hilary Finch[read full review]

Rautavaara: Modificata, Incantations, Towards the Horizon (2016)

Rautavaara

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra

Digital Converters: dCS905 A/D and the dCS Vivaldi Clock
Editing Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Mastering Engineer:

Rene Laflamme, DXD Master to DSD Transfer

Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DXD

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813543021308: Rautavaara: Modificata, Incantations, Towards the Horizon
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Tracks.
1.
Cello Concerto No. 2, Towards the Horizon - I. Theme
Rautavaara
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2.
Cello Concerto No. 2, Towards the Horizon - II. Variations of the theme
Rautavaara
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3.
Cello Concerto No. 2, Towards the Horizon - III. Finale
Rautavaara
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4.
Modificata - I. Praevariata
Rautavaara
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5.
Modificata - II. Meditatio
Rautavaara
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6.
Modificata - III. Affectio
Rautavaara
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7.
Percussion Concerto, Incantations - I. Pesante
Rautavaara
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8.
Percussion Concerto,Incantations - II. Espressivo
Rautavaara
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9.
Percussion Concerto, Incantations - III. Animato (cadenza by C. Currie)
Rautavaara
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