As for the wont-to-wander Allegro molto, Lehtola maintains just the right degree of momentum and interest throughout. In the early days of digital audio critics spoke of a veil being lifted from the music; with hindsight that seems a little fanciful, but the very best Super Audio recordings — of which this is one — really do achieve that blissful state.
Back to the music, and to Organ Symphony No. The clarity of utterance and enhanced mobility of No. The airy upper registers are just as appealing — Lehtola phrases with unrivalled sensitivity here — and the range of colours he coaxes from this instrument is just exquisite. Played like this, without a hint of bombast or prolixity, the symphony sounds fresh and vital. Even the Allegro and Variations have renewed energy and bounce.
In fact all the big moments blossom without effort or loss of focus. Refined and reposeful, Lehtola invests this movement with a rare, statuesque beauty that will take your breath away.
Fugue State : Open Space
The muscular Finale is taut and purposeful, and Lehtola builds powerful, resounding climaxes that never seem overwhelming or rhetorical. He has yet to record them as part of his cycle for Signum. Dominy Clements certainly rates him review. His recordings of No. He shapes and scales these works with great skill. The spacious, tactile recordings are excellent too.
However, for uncommon levels of insight and intuition Lehtola must be the man to beat. Any caveats? In a word: bliss. Each release not only offers premiere recordings of new music but also gives us a glimpse into the evolving soundscapes of an important, living composer. The forces employed in this cycle are impressive too, and recruiting Jan Lehtola for these organ works is a real coup.
This Finnish organist — one of a distinguished breed that includes Kalevi Kiviniemi, Santeri Siimes and Ville Urponen — can be heard to great advantage in this set of Mendelssohn sonatas review. Their unfailing musicality and sense of presence is astonishing, which makes them a hard act to follow. This really is writing — and playing — of the highest order, and BIS have done an astounding job at capturing it all for posterity. Kalevi Aho is regarded as one of the most inventive and productive of contemporary Finnish composers.
Although mainly an orchestral composer, it is likely that he became interested in the King of Instruments during his early composition lessons with Einojuhari Rautavaara, whose affinity with the organ is well-known. To date, Aho has four major pieces for solo organ, and two pieces with organ and another instrument and Aho's distinctive sound-world takes on another dimension with this instrument, as shown here in a challenging album.
I have to say that this is not the most beautifully toned instrument I have ever heard, but its wide variety of dispositions, great power and its somewhat direct and acerbic timbres are an ideal foil for Aho's invention. Aho admits in his refreshingly lucid and informative liner notes that his organ music contains thousands of notes.
In fact, it approaches "extreme organ playing" with its virtuoso demands, particularly a staggeringly complex pedal part. The Three Interludes grew out of the Eighth Symphony, which has three scherzi, each followed by an Interlude, and the symphony's soloist, Hans-Ola Ericsson, suggested that Aho write three solo pieces for organ based on these interludes, and they were completed in , with each one given a new introduction.
The boy's progress appears to have been tempestuous as the First Interlude vividly illustrates. Beginning in a whimsical "Till Eulenspiel" sort of way, soon, stalking, grinding deep pedals incite slashing fusillades of ever-faster repeated massive chords. The Second Interlude is more orchestral in colour, beginning in a shy play of rising and falling flute-toned scales, pulsing with crepuscular gurgling and bubbling until the pedals and heavy reeds blaze in like forbidding granite walls.
The chordal elements work gradually into a brilliant C major chord and fade away. Much slower and more contemplative is the Third Interlude, which Aho tells us was inspired by the most northern latitudes, where during Winter there is a special blue light possibly a synesthesiast like Scriabin ; he sees this as a chord of B minor. Slow chugging chords develop in the background, terrifying in weight and dissonance until time is made to stand still, and a 5 minute B minor chord is played by the assistant as gentle beams of splintered starlight cross the northern sky, both tranquil and magical.
Aho uses this principle for an Organ Symphony, modelled not on the French Romantic ones for organ solo but in an orchestral style.
It was suggested to him by Jan Lehtola in , and has true symphonic development, with all the initial material related and finally synthesised at the end of the 51' work. This is an awe-inspiring edifice, perhaps an abstract answer to Langgaard's massive "Messis" for solo organ.
YEOYU: Full Set
With a highly complex polyrhythmic and polyphonic structure, and together with the aforementioned virtuosic playing required, its intellectual use of fugue in a modern context, craggy chords beyond even Lisztian dimensions in a digestion of the Faustian story, this is a powerfully dramatic listening experience by anyone's standards. Lehtola gives it an heroic reading, with the organ itself giving a formidable presence. The church acoustic is open enough to let the 32' Bourdon ranks form their fundamentals, which are felt rather than heard, but phenomenal detail remains present, even in the 5.
Unearthly sonorities, wild, demonic moments, ear-pricking textures and orchestral eruptions all are here, as are gentle introspective moments. Given music of such quality and a fine BIS recording, I commend this disc to organ-lovers, who will no doubt hope to hear Aho's other solo organ works in forthcoming volume. Mendelssohn: Sonatas for Organ. Alba , No question, the finest new organ recordings come from Finland. Fuga lead the way with their excellent series featuring Kalevi Kiviniemi and a marvellous range of instruments.
So, the auguries are good, but what of the music-making? This is playing of rare poise and transparency, most beautifully recorded. The D major sonata is no less alluring, the broad — but short — Chorale a perfect foil to the skittish Andante that follows. Indeed, as I listened to the endearing woodiness of the concluding Allegro I found it easy to imagine myself sitting in a pew revelling in the gorgeous swirl of sound from those burnished pipes. Pure magic. Indeed, this lovely, sweet-toned organ is just right for this music, whose infectious charm and bounce can so easily be veiled by weightier, more cumbersome instruments.
Even in this panoply of sound the recording never loses its composure, the Red Book layer every bit as satisfying and immersive as the Super Audio one. But then one would expect nothing less from a recording of this pedigree. The easy reach and sheer presence of this recording is particularly evident in the final Allegro. Lehtola is always clear and communicative, even when it comes to complex textures — the first Allegro of the B flat major sonata, for instance — the Allegretto reminiscent of Franck at his most playful. A rare achievement indeed.
Lehtola is a first-class performer, his playing full of ebullience and insight; this organ is pretty special too, its sweet, even-tempered sound faithfully caught by Koivusalo and his team. Die Paschen-Orgel der Kirche im finnischen Juva klingt bestens ausgepegelt und verschwimmt nie im Streicherklang. Site review by Geohominid March 16, It comes as no surprise that the versatile Rautavaara has a fine knowledge of the organ and that he uses its power and colouristic abilities to the full. His compositions for organ span the period , and are generally uncompromisingly dissonant, while his idiom changed from full implementation of the note tone row to a more flexible combination of duodecophony and traditional tonality.
Jan Lehtola, international recitalist and Lecturer in Organ Music at the Sibelius Academy, provides a very helpful account of each piece in his booklet notes. He emphasises the intellectual preoccupation of Rautavaara with metaphysics and religious matters, an intellect that seeks its expression in sound. The organ concerto's title "Annunciation" is a case in point.
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Technically, it poses many difficulties, not just for the organist and accompanying musicians: it was certainly 'Avant-Garde' for its time, with aleatoric elements such as moving tone clusters notated graphically and fluttering passage-work with spontaneous speed-changes. At the work's great climax, the blowers are turned off and we are left to hear the change in sound in the building as the still-held chords slowly expire with loss in pipe-chest pressure. All of these effects are decided by the organist during performance. Musically, 'Annunciations' provides us with some extra-ordinary sound-scapes: fearsome, shimmering with beauty, imposing, majestic, cataclysmic - which are somehow other-worldly.
As Rautavaara intended, the single-movement work has a narrative feel about it, and the listener's visual imagination is highly stimulated - this would make wonderful film music. The solo organ is supported by a bevy of brass and wind instruments. A concertino group of 2 trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba sits separately from a symphonic wind band with 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, 7 clarinets, bass clarinet, alto and tenor saxophones, 2 bassoons, piccolo trumpet, 2 trumpets, 3 horns, 3 trombones one on bass , euphonium, and tuba.
In the present recording, all the instruments were placed in the organ balcony and distributed across the wide sound-stage, blending remarkably with the organ to produce colours and textures which almost defy description, reverberating as they do in the lively acoustic. Segerstam's RBCD recording of the Organ Concerto with Kari Jussila at the organ Ondine is well-performed, but let down by the relatively close and airless recording, which sounds thin in comparison with the Mika Koivusalo's multichannel recording for Alba.
This has a truly impressive floor-wobbling deep bass and a full measure of the ambience of St Paul's Church, Helsinki, making the listener feel truly present at the performance, with its huge dynamic range and spectacular effects. Jan Lehtola's playing is authoritative and deeply considered. An impressive edition, both in performance and sonic realism. Rautavaara fans and organ enthusiasts will want to hear this visionary music.
The Organ Concerto alone provides an unforgettable experience. The composer is well served by young organist Jan Lehtola, who explores the vivid contrasts that characterise much of Linjama's works with true bearing. The contemporary nature of the works is nothing to run away from, indeed, Lehtola's distinct performances invite the listener to hear and discover the kaleidoscopic colours of the instrument, battened down by the individual yet approachable style of Linjama.
Bergman has laid out the materials upon a narrow and forbidding plateau and has got some magnificent performers to give light and shadow to it. Harriet Andersson is beautifully expressive of the haunting awareness, the agony of madness, that move the girl. In one scene, where she takes leave of her senses, she does a masterpiece of marbling her face. Through her, one sees the mysteries that move within the dark glass of the soul. They are barren and still mysterious, rootless and bewildering, but there they are. Gunnar Bjornstrand is stolid as the father, a little pompous, a little gauche, but subtly communicative of a sense of guilt in a selfish man.
Max von Sydow is gaunt and submissive as the husband who bids his love adieu, and young Lars Passgard is wild and baffled as the tormented boy. They say that Mr. Bergman constructed his film in the form of a fugue, with Bach's Suite No. This sounds a bit pretentious. It has a simple, straight cinematic form, unifying a little tangle of experience within a modest frame.
It may strike one as slight and disappointing alongside the intellectual magnitude of such as his film "The Seventh Seal. It seems to seek faith—and yet is without faith. English subtitles are well provided for its Swedish dialogue. Running time: ninety-one minutes. Harriet AnderssonDavid. Gunnar BjornstrandMartin. Max von SydowMinus.