Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

An appealing mix of Finnish & Baltic music

Dedicated To: works by Aho, Narbutaite, Rautavaara, Salmenhaara, Vasks

From Erkki Slamenhaara's Elegia II for two String Quartets, dedicated to Juha Kangas in 1963, to Peteris Vasks’ Musica serena, written for Kangas's Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra in 2015, this appealing mix of music shows the skills of the ensemble in its present form as well as the creativity of these Finnish, Latvian and Lithuanian composers. The Lithuanian Onutė Narbutaitė is new to me; her outstanding piece Was There a Butterfly? was written in 2013. This work, full of shifting textures and colours, is expressive, abstract and mysterious. All of the music on the disc rewards close listening, but don't worry about just letting it wash over you. I'm the last person to tell you you're listening to music wrong!

This disc will be released on March 16, 2018.

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