This is the second
of two Alba CDs to come my way recently.
The Tuukkanen disc presents music that
takes us into Madetoja-Wirén
territory. Pohjola’s music is contemporary
with linkages to Nyman and Shchedrin.
Wild pell-mell eerie hunts alternate
with the reflective and the discursive.
Rhythmic material is precious to Pohjola.
An example of the interplay between
patterning and melody can be heard at
12.00 onwards in the String Quartet
where the composer has clearly been
influenced by the Ravel quartet. The
work ends in this pattering and whispering
New York New
York (piano quartet) won the
Uussävel competition at the Kuhmo
Chamber Music Festival in 2002. It is
a work Pohjola had rewritten when he
received the news of the destruction
of the World Trade Center. Its searchingly
poignant music shares a certain stillness
with the Arvo Pärt Cantus,
the piano music of Urmis Sisask and
Schnittke's Spiegel im Spiegel.
The angry Bartókian stony hammering
of the central episode provides contrast.
Game Over (fl,
cl, perc, pf, vn, va, vc) is from five
years previously. The chatter of woodwind
and percussion brings to mind the birdcall
patterns of Rautavaara's Cantus Arcticus
mixed with the moving mosaic of
L'Enfant et les Sortilèges.
at the Opera (soprano and string
quartet) is a strange work in three
sections. At first it has the soprano
singing warming-up syllables like those
in Bliss's Rout and Rhapsody.
The piece is about love from besotted
to pained to anger in betrayal. If you
like Bliss’s The Enchantress
perhaps with a more modernistic edge
then you will like this.
said, by note writer Osmo Tapio Räihälä, to
reflect Pohjola's passion for the cinema.
The title is the same as that of the
film by Max Ophuls. The music is laid
out for wind septet, piano and string
quintet. This chatters along, determined
and busy, and then relents in some probingly
Pohjola is of the same
family as Erkki Pohjola, founder of
the Tapiola Choir. Sakari Oramo, the
conductor of the CBSO, is his cousin.
This is an extremely
promising first disc.