Kalevi Aho: Concertos

Kalevi Aho: Concertos

by Lewis Lipnick
     
 

Kalevi Aho, one of Finland's leading symphonists and opera composers, has taken on the task of writing concerti for two of the orchestra's lowest and most neglected instruments: the tuba and the contrabassoon. Both instruments have extremely limited concerto repertoire, so his efforts will be met with much gratitude by tubists and contrabassoonists. The "Tuba Concerto… See more details below

Overview

Kalevi Aho, one of Finland's leading symphonists and opera composers, has taken on the task of writing concerti for two of the orchestra's lowest and most neglected instruments: the tuba and the contrabassoon. Both instruments have extremely limited concerto repertoire, so his efforts will be met with much gratitude by tubists and contrabassoonists. The "Tuba Concerto," however, will probably be almost exclusively of interest to tubists. Aho has latched onto the instrument's cantabile qualities, and the solo line is relentlessly and blandly lyrical, in a meandering Hindemithian way, without a really strong musical character or memorably melodic profile. The orchestral writing is somewhat more engaging, but it's still clearly an accompanying function, and as such can't supply the substance to sustain interest in the piece. The "Contrabassoon Concerto" is another story. The contrabassoon is capable of broader tonal variety than the tuba, and Aho expertly deploys it in ways that allow it to strut its stuff. It can have a piercing quality that cuts through the orchestral fabric, so the composer has more freedom to use richer and more complex orchestral textures when accompanying it. The instrument also seems to have gripped the composer's imagination more fully, because musically the work is substantial enough to be of interest to general concert audiences. Its colorful orchestration and the elemental wildness of its gestures recall the music of Rautavaara, one of Aho's teachers. The performances are all first-rate. Tubist Øystein Baadsvik makes the most of the solo's lyricism. Lewis Lipnick negotiates the outrageous demands Aho makes on the contrabassoon with virtuosity and striking musicality. BIS' sound quality is clean and deep, with excellent balance between the soloist and orchestra.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle - Joshua Kosman
Aho's style is recognizably Nordic, with dark surges of orchestral color and a harmonic language that alternates between dense dissonances and fairly lucid tonality.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/27/2007
Label:
Bis
UPC:
7318590015742
catalogNumber:
1574
Rank:
184482

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Tuba Concerto  - Kalevi Aho  -  Norrköping Symphony Orchestra  - Robert Suff  - Mats Rondin  - Øystein Baadsvik
  2. Contrabassoon Concerto  - Kalevi Aho  - Robert von Bahr  -  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra  - Andrew Litton  - Lewis Lipnick

Read More

Album Credits

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >