Rautavaara: Towards the Horizon; Modificata; Incantations
Truls Mork, cello
Colin Currie, percussion
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra; John Storgards, conductor
This new release sheds some light onto Einojuhani Rautavaara's growth as a
composer. The outer two works are recent concertos, composed in
2008/2009. But the middle work, Modificata, was written in 1957, when Rautavaara was just 29 years old and very much enamored with serial composition.
The current version, though, is his 2003 revision of the work, which
smoothed out some of the jagged edges. Still, it's a very stark and
aggressive-sounding work, especially when compared to the concertos that
Rautavaara's second cello concerto, "Towards the Horizon" is a
single-movement work full of expression. The cello seems to float along
over top of an orchestral ocean of ethereal harmonies. As the title
suggests, there's a sense of motion towards a destination that's always
out of reach. And while the cello part isn't that challenging
technically, to meaningfully convey all the emotion written into the
score requires top-notch musicianship. And Truls Mork fills that role
"Incantations" is a percussion concerto composed for Colin Currie.
Currie met with Rautavaara during the composing of the work, and created
his own cadenza. Having Currie perform on this recording makes the
concerto come alive. All the hallmarks of Rautavaara's current style are
there; the stacked chords, the warm orchestration and the large musical
gestures to which the solo percussionist provides additional rhythmic
impetus. Most of the the time, Currie's playing melodic percussion
instruments, but even when he's not, Rautavaara's written the work so it
sounds like he is.
This is fine addition to Ondine's catalog of Rautavaara recordings.