Valoa (CD)

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$ 8.10 $ 18.99


Release Date: 01/01/07

Valoa offers only one work by Klami. A handful of the orchestral works of Robert Kajanus have had their own CD on BIS-CD

Valoa offers only one work by Klami. A handful of the orchestral works of Robert Kajanus have had their own CD on BIS-CD-1223 (see review). The collection included his Aino symphony which has also appeared in a different performance on Ondine. Conductor-composer Kajanus’s Suite for Strings is a pleasant sentimental trippingly light confection - a little like Elgar with only the lightest suggestion of Northern climes. The finale has a trotting freedom which sounds a little like Sibelius’s Karelia Suite. The Hindemith Mourning Music is better known under its German title: Trauermusik. How it was written at extraordinarily short notice for the BBC to mark the death of King George V in 1936 is well enough known. Ulla Soinne plays with a captivatingly oleaginous tone which leans away from the instrument’s traditional slender hoarseness. It would be good to hear her in the even finer Schwanendreher Concerto. I was most impressed. In fact this is the finest recording I have ever heard of Trauermusik. Hindemithians must not overlook this. Ilkka Kuusisto studied organ at the Sibelius Academy in his birth city of Helsinki. There he also worked with composition professors Aare Merikanto and Nils-Erik Fougstedt. There were to be further studies in the USA, Germany and Austria. He became conductor at the Helsinki City Theatre in the 1960s and 1970s and did a three year stint as head of the Klemetti Institute from 1969. He has written operas and musicals: Muumiooppera (1974); Mieben kylkiluu (1977); Sota valosta (1980); Jääikäri Stabl (1981) and Pierrot tai yon salaisuudet (1991). The musicals include Lumikuningatar (1979) and Robin Hood (1987). There were a few chamber works but usually for unconventional combinations of instruments. His vocal works numbered Three Chinese Songs for Soprano, Flute, and Piano (1956), Daybreak - a cantata for soli, Youth Chorus, and Organ (1957) and Crucifixus for Baritone and String Quartet (1959). Kuusisto’s Divertimento is a lovely gentle subtle piece for strings: nostalgic, clever, catchy and finely emotional with touches of Frank Bridge, Dag Wirén and Sibelius’s Rakastava but so much more. It’s a complete winner and again is one of those pieces that needs to be picked up by Classic FM. Not to be missed, believe me. Pasi Piispanen’s elusively sentimental songs are here sung by Reijo Mustakallio (baritone). They represent a sort of approximation of the French chansonnier’s work. The most accomplished of them is the wonderfully counterpointed Valo (Light). These songs are more light than gravely classical but they are clearly the work of a craftsman of the emotions. Uuno Klami is represented by his Suite for String Orchestra. Its four short movements touch in the emotions with watercolour impressions yet without the colours running: It’s related to Rakastava but with a trace-infusion of mocha. The Allegro vivo has a significant Sibelian bustle. The disc is nicely recorded and the playing by the Tapiola Youth Strings wants nothing in accomplishment and emotion. There you have it: the Finnish composer Uuno Klami - a captivating composer whose tonal-nationalist-impressionistic style moved later in life a little towards the neo-classical. Do not neglect these indispensable Alba discs for your Klami collection.Rob Barnett

Label: Alba Records
Genre: Classical
Run Time: 60 mins

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