SEPPO POHJOLA (b.1965): The Closet, My Dearest.

Catalogue Number: 05K119

Label: Alba

Reference: ABCD 263

Format: CD

Price: $17.98

Description: These contrasting chamber operas reinvent the traditions of grand opera in a smaller, more intimate setting, thus also gaining something in emotional directness at the expense of grand gesture (which in the case of The Closet can be parodied if not emulated). In chirpy, tuneful neoclassical style, The Closet tweaks the conventions and preoccupations of grand opera - love, deceit, jealousy, amusing misunderstandings - through the interaction of a happily married couple who inadvertently find themselves confronting their own and each other's sexual fantasies (slightly R-rated if you are of especially delicate sensibilities), personified and subjected to the accustomed treatment of operatic characters. The more intimate My Dearest is also based on an exchange between a couple - letters between the composer's grandparents while separated by WWII. Incorporating the pungent timbre of an accordion for its nostalgic associations, the music exudes a tender melancholy, punctuated by stronger feelings as the characters experience moments of jealousy, fear and doubt. Both works are resolutely tonal throughout and thoroughly approachable. Finnish-English libretti. Sirkka Parviainen, Eija Räisänen (sopranos), Pekka Kuivalainen (tenor), Petri Pussila, Pekka Haahti (baritones), Instrumental Group; Tuomas Rousi.

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