EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA (b.1928): Cello Concerto No. 2 "Towards the Horizon", Percussion Concerto "Incantations", Modificata.
Catalogue Number: 03N011
Reference: ODE 1178-2
Description: The cello concerto, from 2008-09 and which the composer thinks may be his last work in that category, is a one-movement piece of 21 minutes during which the soloist almost constantly sings achingly beautiful, autumnal, lyrical melodies. Eventually the orchestra achieves a somewhat threatening sounding climax but very quickly from that point, the cello's song thins and gently fades away as if contemplating whatever is beyond that "horizon". Modificata (1957, modified in 2003 by inserting a separate work from the same original year as a new first movement) is one of Rautavaara's first twelve-tone works but much of its first movement inhabits the earlier, more melodic world of late Bergian Expressionism; it won't upset your musical stomach. Incantations (also 2008) has prominent roles for vibraphone and marimba amongst much other non-melodic percussion and, more than some of his concertos, most of which have some aspect of this idea, employs the soloist as a shamanistic medium between man and the hereafter. The three movements are weighty and serious, serene and lyrical (truly beautiful, this) and highly animated in the finale (Rautavaara suggests the erratic dancing of a shaman). Truls Mørk (cello), Colin Currie (percussion), Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra; John Storgårds.