KALEVI AHO (b.1949): Quasi una fantasia for Oboe and Organ, Epilogue for Trombone and Organ, Song of the Earth for Violin, Oboe and Organ, Solo Organ: Contrapunctus XIV (Bach), Wedding Music, Wedding Marches I and II, Ludus solemnis, In memoriam.
Catalogue Number: 07Q087
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: Quasi una fantasia is effectively a horn concerto, with a virtuosic and almost constantly present solo part. Interestingly, for a composer who claims not to have been especially drawn to the organ (notwithstanding his monumental, idiomatic and entirely successful Symphony for solo organ [10O085]), the organ part sounds as though conceived entirely in terms of the instrument, not like an organ transcription of Aho's natural idiom, the orchestra. Sonorous effects provide background and linear contrapuntal lines adroitly partner the solo instrument. The other, smaller instrumental works use the organ in a more conventional chamber accompanimental role, with the emphasis on the singing qualities of the instruments. The completion of Bach's Contrapunctus XIV is conceived as something Bach himself might have done, with the fugue themes combined in ingenious counterpoint and rhythmic variants; Aho's stretto is a massive and impressive culmination of the work. The smaller organ works are three very tonal wedding pieces and two that are harmonically and rhythmically unmistakable Aho, the equivalent of an extrovert orchestral and an elegiac chamber orchestral piece respectively. Petri Komulainen (horn), Jussi Vuorinen (trombone), Kaija Saarikettu (violin), Anna-Kaisa Pippuri (oboe), Jan Lehtola (organs of St. Paul's Church, Helsinki, Kotka Church and St. Johannes Church, Malmó).