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Artistic Quality:

Sound Quality:

This compilation made exclusively of previously released material (rec. 1990-99) makes a perfect introduction to 20th century Finnish symphonic music. With a few exceptions, notably Vaino Raitio, the Scandinavian country’s most talented composers have been included. How such a small population could generate such a large number of great, deeply personal composers remains a complete mystery. The works selected from the Ondine catalogue share at least one common character: the use of long, sustained harmonic patterns, which create colors of hallucinatory beauty and astounding originality. Rautavaara’s cosmic concerto for “bird” (on tape) and orchestra, Sibelius’ dramatic Storm from the incidental music for Shakespeare’s Tempest, Merikanto’s dreamy Lento cantabile, Pingoud’s Scriabinesque Extinguished Torches, Nordgren’s fiery and folksy The Fiddler’s Favorite Tune–all in their own ways present perfect examples of that magic sound world, created in contact with nature and its abysmal winters. The performances are perfectly idiomatic and the recordings always spacious and coherent. Too bad Ondine didn’t provide any liner notes or introductory text whatsoever.

Recording Details:

Reference Recording: None

EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA - Cantus arcticus, concerto for Bird and Orchestra; Come un sogno, from Angel of Light (Symphony No. 7)
JEAN SIBELIUS - The Storm, from The Tempest
AARRE MERIKANTO - Lento cantabile, Arietta, from Four Compositions for Orchestra
TUOMAS KANTELINEN - Adagio, from the soundtrack for the movie The Ambush
ERNEST PINGOUD - Flambeaux éteints - Extinguished Torches
AULIS SALLINEN - Lemminki in Tuonela, from The Iron Age Op. 55
PEHR HENRIK NORDGREN - The Thinker, The Fiddler's Favorite Tune, from Portraits of Country Fiddlers Op. 26

    • Record Label: Ondine - 937-2
    • Medium: CD

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