TIMO-JUHANI KYLLÖNEN (b.1955): Symphony No. 1, Op. 8, Lichtenthal, Op. 43, Accordion Concerto No. 1, Op. 60, Concerto grosso, Op. 65.
Catalogue Number: 02K104
Reference: ABCD 256
Description: By studying in Russia from 1976, Kyllönen avoided the tendencies toward serialist modernism that were taking root in his native Finland among composers of his generation, and immersed himself in the more tonally based Soviet post-Shostakovich æsthetic still current there, which was more in accord with his own Romantic, communicative temperament and adherence to rich harmony and eloquent melody. Thus it is that his early symphony has more than a little in common with the previous generation of Finnish symphonists - Sallinen for instance, and to some extent, Aho. The energetic and colorful concerto (the composer's own instrument) recalls Khachaturian, and acknowledges the solo instrument's Latin American background. The first movement is decisive and tough, the second a Sibelian atmospheric nature tone-painting, leading to a high-energy finale. Lichtenthal is a tone-poem related to the location of the Brahms house in Baden-Baden, and opens with a decisive and massive Brahmsian motif which sets the stage for a powerful and impressive orchestral dialogue, intriguingly colored by elements absorbed during the composer's travels in South America, though the overall felling of the work is a central-European massiveness, the atmosphere more of the Black Forest than the Rain Forest. The Concerto Grosso is a contemporary take on the Baroque form, with orchestral soloists (including percussion) in lively discourse with the orchestral group, as in the other works here in an appealing tonal idiom strongly reminiscent of Shostakovich. Matti Rantanen (accordion), St. Petersburg State Academic Capella Symphony Orchestra; Alexander Chernushenko.