Väinö Raitio: Queen of the Flowers

Väinö Raitio: Queen of the Flowers

by Tuomas Ollila


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Väinö Raitio: Queen of the Flowers

This attractive disc offers a sampling of Finnish composer Väinö Raitio's (1891-1945) works for small orchestra, compositions representing his second period. During the early '20s, Raitio championed modernism, moving from an idiom inspired by Scriabin to atonality. In the early '30s, Raitio, having formulated a highly personal musical idiom, returned to tonality and added a subtle coloristic dimension to his writing. Among the first seven pieces, all charmingly and finely crafted, one must single out the splendid Scherzo (Felis domestica). Inspired by the composer's cat, this piece, with its gentle shifts from brisk movement to moments of languid repose, convincingly conjures up a few feline moments. The Tapiola Sinfonietta, conducted by Tuomas Ollila, performs Raitio's miniatures with a rare blend of technical precision, tonal opulence, and a sensitivity to pictorial detail. For example, the beautifully descriptive "Summer Pictures From Häme" -- which introduces the listener to a world of memories, fleeting impressions, and treasured moments -- provides the performer with an opportunity to illuminate and tastefully connect the many narrative strands of Raitio's music. Precise and imprecise, clearly etched yet suggestive of pastel hues, Raitio's music is a challenge to any performer. The Tapiola Sinfonietta rises to the challenge, performing his compositions with authority, charm, and imagination.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/24/2003
Label: Ondine
UPC: 0761195097526
catalogNumber: 975


  1. Valssi (Waltz)
  2. Humoreski (Humoresque)
  3. Idylli (Idyll)
  4. Tango
  5. Scherzo (Felis domestica)
  6. Danse grotesque
  7. Valse mignonne
  8. Neiet niemien nenissä (Maidens on the Headlands), symphonic poem
  9. Kesäkuvia Hämeestä (Summer Pictures from Häme)
  10. Metsäidyllejä (Forest Idylls)

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