One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews

Love-violin-NI6428
Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 


alternatively AmazonUK

Uljas PULKKIS (b. 1975)
Enchanted Garden (2000) [19:38]
Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (2001) [20:32]
Symphonic Dalí (2002) [36:46]
Jaakko Kuusisto (violin) (Garden); Sharon Bezaly (flute) (concerto)
Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Susanna Mälkki
rec. Stavanger Concert Hall, Norway, June, August 2005
BIS SACD1339 [78:26]



Now in his early thirties, Uljas Voitto Pulkkis, as he was then known, gained some earlier international recognition when his Tears of Ludovico for piano and orchestra was awarded the First Prize at the 1999 Queen Elisabeth Composition Competition. As such this became the test work for the finals of the 1999 Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition. Later, Pulkkis’s violin concerto Enchanted Garden won the first prize at the 2001 UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers; no mean achievement for a composer under thirty. Since then, he has expanded his output with some substantial works. These include the Flute Concerto and Symphonic Dalí recorded here, as well as another orchestral work On the Crest of Waves and a pair of concertos.
 
Subtitled “a musical tale in eight chapters for solo violin and orchestra”, Enchanted Garden is laid-out in one large single movement, albeit falling into several sections; these, however, are not indexed, which would have been useful. The work is conceived as a large-scale arch, ending with a varied restatement of the opening. In between, the various sections explore various moods and techniques, some of them harking back to the French spectral school, but never extravagantly so. On the whole this piece aptly evokes some mysterious and almost surreal moods. Some otherwise unmentioned or uncredited electronics seem to be part of the textures, although quite discretely, thus emphasising the fantastic character of the music. For all its complexity this music is strongly evocative and atmospheric. Jaakko Kuusisto, a finalist in the 1997 Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition, has all the technique to navigate almost effortlessly through the fiendishly difficult solo part.
 
The Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, dedicated to Sharon Bezaly and BIS Records, is almost traditional, both in its musical idiom and its three-movement layout. That said, the music shares some characteristics with that of Enchanted Garden, particularly in its reliance on expressive scalic figures. The music might be described as straightforward when compared to the sophistication of the violin concerto. Actually, it sometimes hints at Neo-classicism; the annotator even mentions Honegger, Hindemith and Einar Englund. This characteristic is evident in the third movement. The solo part is neatly tailored for Sharon Bezaly who, true to herself, plays magnificently throughout.
 
Symphonic Dalí (“Three paintings for orchestra”) is a substantial work playing for almost forty minutes. Here Pulkkis displays the full measure of his remarkable gift for tellingly calculated orchestral sound. This he obviously relishes. The three movements are inspired in one way or another by canvases by Dalí: The Colossus of Rhodes, Shades of Night Descending and Dawn. The first movement brilliantly evokes dazzling light as well as powerfully swelling waves. As might be expected, the second movement is a mysterious, almost mystical Nocturne, whereas the third movement unfolds from darkness to light. The colourful, lushly scored music often brings Respighi and Ravel to mind. The annotator also mentions Rautavaara - late Rautavaara.
 
As already mentioned, Pulkkis obviously has a remarkable instrumental flair and handles his often large forces with a sure feel for telling broad orchestral strokes. These works leave me with some unanswered questions: is a personal voice at work in these imposing works? To be frank, Enchanted Garden may be the only distinctive work here and the later works lack that personal identity. I nevertheless thoroughly enjoyed the bright orchestral colours that Pulkkis conjures up. This reservation on my part should not deter anyone who enjoys Ravel or Respighi from investigating this superbly produced release and coming to their own conclusions.
 
Hubert Culot
 



 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass


Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022


Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32


Orchestral Works


String Quartets Vol 1

 

 

 

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.