Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Madetoja, Leevi. (1887-1947) Orchestral Works, Volume 5.

From my collection.
Bought in April 2015.
First listen:30-4-2015.
Second listen: 12-5-2015.
Third listen: 28-3-2017.
Label: Alba.
Recording dates: August 1998, August 2002, August 2004.
Recording venue: Madetoja Hall, Oulu Music Centre, Finland.
Recording engineer: Antti Karvonen, Antti Kettunen.
Running time: 73:10.
Classical relevance to me: Interesting.

Works performed:

Kullervo Overture, opus 15.
Vainamoinen Sows the Wilderness, opus 46.
Little Suite, opus 12.
Autumn, opus 68.
Okon Fuoko Suite II, compiled by Arvo Volmer.

Performed by:

Tuomas Katajala, Tenor.
Kirsi Tiihonen, Soprano.
Tuula Fleivik, Viola Solo.
Oulu Sinfonia, Arvo Volmer.

When I bought this disc, I was well aware of two works on this cd I might not like, opus 46 for orchestra and tenor, and opus 68 for orchestra and soprano, and sure enough for me they were duds from the highest level. I find opus 46 highly uninteresting, and opus 68 was a serious attempt to take my life on this earth. Kirsi Tiihonen is a dramatic soprano, who featured primarily in Wagner operas, and this you can hear. Her vibrato works out like a perpetuum mobile, it never stops, and there is more vibrato as actual notes in the score. The music is great, but they should have chosen a totally different soloist, so guess what, both works are a big no no for me. So many good sopranos, and they hire this woman, who will be a great Brunhilde, but a poor interpreter of serious music.

Back to the fine part of this cd, starting with the Kullervo Overture. Now we might all say and refer to Sibelius for this, but stop right there, because there is actually no comparison in order here. His take is much more complex in orchestration, and his soundscapes are far denser as Sibelius his compositions. That is not to say that there are too many notes in this work, but simply that it walks a different path. The Little Suite is a work full of gaiety and mystery, magical moments, with a gorgeous second movement. Very impressive.
The Okon Fuoko Suite is a well thought out work, with technical demands for the musicians on a very high level. Volmer compiled this suite from the 80 minutes of the original score, of which Madetoja only took 14 minutes. Volmer did not add things from himself, but used what Madetoja wrote, so some 7 minutes of added music. All is well orchestrated, more of a technical feat, and less emotional. I admire the music, but it does not really warm my cold hands at this particular fire. The recording is good to very good. that has to do with the different recording years. 




Graupner, Christoph. (1683-1760. Partitas for Harpsichord, Volume 4.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: July 2017. First listen: 21-7-2017. Label: Analekta. Recording dates: June 2004 Recording venue: ...