DEFINITIVE RECORDINGS
EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA - CANTUS ARCTICUS

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EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA - CANTUS ARCTICUS - PIANO CONCERTO NO. 1 - SYMPHONY NO. 3 - HANNU LINTU (Conductor) - LAURA MIKKOLA (Piano) - ROYAL SCOTTISH NATIONAL ORCHESTRA - NAXOS 8.554147

This Finnish composer is a great example of a modern composer who is definitely not a modernist, but writes music that is mostly romantic in style. Most of his music has been inspired by nature in his native country, with touches of mysticism and grandeur.

The symphony for example has moments of quasi-Brucknerian scope, but the writing is much more fluid and linear in structure. There is a very natural flow to the development of his ideas and everything seems to be connected by a long thread from beginning to end. The Cantus Arcticus is somewhat like a Concerto for Birds and Orchestra. The use within the work of sounds of wild birds from the arctic circle is very effective. The use of woodwinds for example at certain moments creates the sense that the birds and orchestra are one. The mystical connection between man and nature is very well represented in this ingenious work.

If you want to explore a modern composer that communicates well and speaks our language, then you must try this fine recording of some of his major works.

Jean-Yves Duperron