Thursday, February 9, 2017

Einojuhani Rautavaara - Works for Violin and Piano (Pekka Kuusisto; Paavali Jumppanen)


Composer: Einojuhani Rautavaara
  • (01-04) Lost Landscapes
  • (05) Summer Thoughts
  • (06) April Lines
  • (07-08) Notturno e danza
  • (09) Variétude, for solo violin
  • (10) Dithyrambos
  • (11-22) Pelimannit (The Fiddlers), suite for piano based on traditional fiddle tunes

Pekka Kuusisto, violin
Paavali Jumppanen, piano

Date: 2011
Label: Ondine



A fascinating collection casting light on Finland’s most eminent living composer

Rautavaara’s music for violin and piano occupies a byway in his output, with no really outstanding work like a sonata. His fluency in writing for solo violin is demonstrated by three competition test pieces: Dithyrambos (1970), Variétude for solo violin (1974, later arranged for guitar) – both for the International Sibelius Competitions – and Notturno e danza (1993) for Espoo’s Juvenalia Music Institute. Musically satisfying as each is, Rautavaara thought enough of the Notturno to base a movement in his Angel of Light Symphony on it the following year.

Lost Landscapes (2005) is Rautavaara’s largest violin-and-piano duo by far, a wistful evocation of four places where he had studied in the mid-1950s: Tanglewood, Ascona, Vienna and New York, although the volatile “Wall Street” finale does finally break the prevailingly nostalgic mood. The brief Summer Thoughts (2008, but a reworking of an earlier piece) restores the calm but is too insubstantial for a successful title-track. April Lines is more turbulent, reflecting its chequered history.

Kuusisto and Jumppanen are persuasive executants – Rautavaara’s challenging technical demands are thrown off with élan – but the violin’s often edgy intonation does not sit well with the dreamier inspirations, with Lost Landscapes suffering especially in this respect. Where the performers are at their best is in The Fiddlers, Rautavaara’s vivacious folk-music piano suite (1952), delivered in lively and fully competitive fashion by Jumppanen (rivalling his eminent stablemate Izumi Tateno), and prefaced here by Kuusisto playing unaccompanied the folk tunes on which it was based, in Samuel Rinta-Nikkola’s sparkling original notations. Top-notch sound.

-- Guy Rickards, Gramophone

More reviews:
BBC Music Magazine  PERFORMANCE: **** / SOUND: ****


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.


Pekka Kuusisto (born 7 October 1976 in Espoo) is a Finnish musician. He studied with Tuomas Haapanen at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and with Miriam Fried and Paul Biss at the Indiana University School of Music. In 1995, Pekka Kuusisto became the first Finn to win the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition. He has won other prizes, concertised widely and recorded works for the Ondine label. Pekka Kuusisto plays a Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin (1752) lent by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.


Paavali Jumppanen (born 17 July, 1974 in Espoo, Finland) is a Finnish pianist. Jumppanen studied at the Sibelius Academy of Helsinki, then went on to study with Krystian Zimerman at the Music Academy of Basel. Since taking first prize in the 2000 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he has performed as a soloist with major orchestras all around the world and given solo recitals in the prominent concert halls of Paris, New York, Vienna, and London. His vast repertoire spans much of the classical piano literature, from Bach to Boulez.


FLAC, tracks
Links in comment


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Copy Adfly (, ( or LinkShrink ( to your browser's address bar, wait 5 seconds, then click on 'Skip [This] Ad' (or 'Continue') (yellow button, top right).
    If Adfly, or LinkShrink ask you to download anything, IGNORE them, only download from file hosting site (
    If you encounter 'Bandwidth Limit Exceeded' problem, try to create a free account on MEGA.