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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Einojuhani Rautavaara - A Requiem in Our Time (Hannu Lintu)


Composer: Einojuhani Rautavaara
  • (01-04) A Requiem in Our Time
  • (05) Playgrounds for Angels
  • (06) Tarantará for solo trumpet
  • (07) Independence Fanfare
  • (08-11) A Soldiers Mass
  • (12-14) Octet for Winds
  • (15) Hymnus for trumpet and organ

Pari Pirinen, trumpet (6)
Finnish Brass Symphony
Hannu Lintu, conductor

Date: 2000
Label: Ondine




The Finnish Brass Symphony, directed by Hannu Lintu, has recorded a masterful survey of music by countryman Einojuhani Rautavaara. Spanning more than 45 years of the composer's work, the album functions as something of a compendium of themes that Rautavaara has returned to time and again in his music, from the dodecaphonic experiments of the Wind Octet to his ongoing fascination with angels. In this performance of 1981's Playgrounds for Angels, it becomes unclear if the playgrounds belong entirely to terrifying otherworldly beings or to these instrumentalists, whose superb ensemble skills definitely qualify them as supernaturally talented. 1953's A Requiem in our Time has been recorded at least four times, most memorably--until now--on a BIS disc with Brass Partout. The bold strokes and brash colors of this work are reflected in the more rare Soldier's Mass from 1968, whose "In Hora Mortis" movement presages the shimmering intensity of Rautavaara's later works.

A few shorter compositions round out the collection. Originally written as a compulsory piece for a trumpet competition, the Tarantará must have struck fear into the hearts of those brass players--in Rautavaara's hands, the instrument is nothing short of a wild animal that shrieks, growls, and leaps all over the register with dizzying speed. The extraordinary trumpeter Pasi Pirinen makes it all seem easy. The fanfare written for Finland's 75th independence anniversary is a mere 37 seconds long: blink twice, and you miss it entirely. The most recent composition, 1998's Hymnus for trumpet and organ, ably performed by Deborah Calland and Barry Millington, completes the survey. Kudos to Ondine for a marvelous recording.

-- Anastasia Tsioulcas, ClassicsToday

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Einojuhani Rautavaara (9 October 1928 – 27 July 2016) was a Finnish composer of classical music. He is among the most notable Finnish composers since Jean Sibelius. Rautavaara wrote a great number of works spanning various styles. These include 8 symphonies, 9 operas and 12 concerti, as well as numerous vocal and chamber works. Having written early works using 12-tone serial techniques, his later music may be described as Neo-romantic and mystical. Almost all of Rautavaara's works have been recorded by Ondine. Some of his major works have also been recorded by Naxos and BIS.


Hannu Lintu (born 13 October 1967, Rauma, Finland) is a Finnish conductor. Lintu studied piano and cello at the Turku Conservatory and at the Sibelius Academy, and studied conducting with Atso Almila, Jorma Panula and Eri Klas. He was chief conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (1998-2001), Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra (2009-2013) and is currently chief conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (since 2013). Lintu has conducted commercial recordings for such labels as Claves, Dacapo, Danacord, Hyperion, Naxos, and Ondine.


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  2. Many thanks for your work. Its a pleasure to re-discovering Rautavaara.

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