Klami: Northern Lights

Review by: David Hurwitz

Artistic Quality: 10

Sound Quality: 10

Uuno Klami was the Finnish Ravel, his music characterized by superb craftsmanship, glittering orchestration, and melodies that sound like you might have heard them before but can’t remember where. The Cheremissian Fantasy for cello and orchestra is a case in point, saturated with the folk music of far-off Cheremissia (or wherever). It doesn’t matter, either there, or in the Kalevala Suite, the closest thing that Klami has to a popular international hit. Northern Lights will be new to most collectors. It’s an 18-minute symphonic poem that more than lives up to its title: alternately atmospheric and brilliant, it rises to an imposing climax that reveals Klami’s gifts as an orchestrator to excellent effect.

While both the Fantasy and the Kalevala Suite have been recorded previously–and very well (BIS has a fine Klami series from Lahti)–this new release is outstanding in every way. The Helsinki Philharmonic knows this music as well as anyone, and in any event is a first-class ensemble no matter what the repertoire. John Storgards leads vibrant interpretations, with Samuli Peltonen an impressive cello soloist. The sonics are superbly lifelike, with plenty of detail and a wide dynamic range. Highly recommended. [2/9/2010]

Buy Now from Arkiv Music

Recording Details:

Reference Recording: None

UUNO KLAMI - Northern Lights; Cheremissian Fantasy; Kalevala Suite

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