EINOJUAHNI RAUTAVAARA (b.1928): A Tapestry of Life, Before the Icons.
Catalogue Number: 05L013
Reference: ODE 1149-2
Description: Tapestry is Rautavaara's latest orchestral work and was written in 2007 after recovering from a serious illness. In four movements - Stars Swarming, Halcyon Days, Sighs and Tears and The Last Polonaise - it uses the full panoply of the composer's late, mystical style to paint four images of a metaphysical quality whose cumulative emotional impact is sealed by an orchestral grandeur one can only call transcendental. Before the Icons originated in 1955 as a "Pictures at an Exhibition"-like piano cycle inspired by a childhood trip to the Orthodox Valamo monastery on Lake Ladoga. Rautavaara orchestrated them in 2005, adding the connective fiber of three Prayer movements (like the Pictures' "Promenades") and rounding it off with a grandly luminous Amen. Russian folk music and monastery bells mix with purely abstract impressions (the Baptism of Christ is color-music, inspired by the brilliance of the colors of that icon) to create a 25-minute tapestry seamlessly weaving together all chronological aspects of the composer's style. Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra; Leif Segerstam.