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Aho - Concert for Chamber Orchestra

Composer Kalevi Aho
Performer Anna Kreetta Gribajcevic
Monica Groop
Herman Rechberger
Lapland Chamber Orchestra
John Storgårds, conductor
Period Contemporary
Catalogue Number BIS-1686 CD
EAN 7318590016862
Format CD
Release date Mar 2009
Total time 79'34

Music Web International: Recording of the Month.

In 2003 Kalevi Aho received the unusual commission of composing a complete concert programme. The composer's ambition was to devise a great ‘metasymphony’ in which each work should also be suitable for performance individually, and in his liner notes Aho relates the special difficulties involved in such a project. From the start he knew that the concert would culminate with a newly written symphony, and different circumstances then led him to choose to let the concert open with a song cycle, and continue with a concerto for viola. Aho also decided to compose the pieces in the order they would appear in the concert, and the next piece in the puzzle came when he encountered a Finnish translation of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's posthumous collection The Book of Questions. The poems included are made up exclusively of questions, of which Aho has chosen a number, combining them into eleven sets to be performed without a break. The result is Kysymysten kirja, a meditative, philosophical song cycle, which in concert leads immediately into the Viola Concerto, Aho's first for this instrument. The concert ends with Symphony No.14 ‘Rituals’, scored for sixteen string players, wind quintet and two percussionists. Such small forces form a striking contrast to the monumental score of the composer's Twelfth Symphony ‘Luosto’ [BIS-SACD-1676], but it is nevertheless a highly colourful work, in which an important part is played by the darabuka and the djembe, hand drums of Arabic and African origin respectively. Kalevi Aho, who this year celebrates his 60th birthday, is increasingly recognized as one of today's leading orchestral composers, not least through a number of critically acclaimed recordings on BIS. In 1999 his Seventh Symphony was hailed as ‘one one of our century's great orchestral scores’ in American Record Guide, while International Record Guide described the recently released Twelfth Symphony as ‘music of such graphic impact and visually arresting imagery that it feels as though you could reach out and touch it’. That recording also featured John Storgårds and the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland, who for this disc are joined by mezzo-soprano Monica Groop and Anna Kreetta Gribajcevic, viola.
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  Kalevi Aho
  Kysymysten kirja (The Book of Questions) (Suite for
mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra)
01 I. Jos olenkin (If I Just Had) 2'55
02 II. Ruusun asu · (The Rose’s Apparel) 2'07
03 III. Merenneitojen kyynelet (A Mermaid’s Tears) 2'35
04 IV. Minne päättyy sateenkaari? (Where Does the Rainbow End?) 3'06
05 V. Nainen unessa (The Woman in the Dream) 1'00
06 VI. Mitä merkitystä? (What Meaning) 1'57
07 VII. Lapsuuteni kuollessa (When My Childhood Died) 1'38
08 VIII. Tunneli (The Tunnel) 1'41
09 IX. Kun näen meren (When I See the Sea) 1'20
10 X. Kukkiva omenapuu (The Flowering Apple Tree) 1'22
11 XI. Perhoset (Butterflies) 4'40
  Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra 24'11
12 Crotchet = 58 5'19
13 Presto 3'36
14 Crotchet = 76 5'11
15 Cadenza 4'21
16 Allegretto 5'44
  Symphony No.14, Rituaaleja Rituals 30'03
17 Loitsu I (Kiihko) (Incantation I [Zeal]) 10'51
18 Interludi I (Interlude I) 2'08
19 Loitsu II (Kaiho ja vimma) (Incantation II [Yearning and Fury]) 4'55
20 Kulkue (Procession Jukka Koski gongs & tam-tams) 6'19
21 Interludi II (Interlude II) 2'15
22 Loitsu III (Lopetuksen mantra) (Incantation III [Mantra of the Ending]) 3'35
  Album total 79'34
ComposerAho, Kalevi
Mezzo-sopranoGroop, Monica
OrchestraChamber Orchestra of Lapland
ConductorStorgards (Storgårds), John
ViolaGribajcevic, Anna Kreetta
Darabuka & djembeRechberger, Herman

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