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The Music of Kalevi Aho (b 1949) By Dan Morgan
Full article (with multiple sound samples)

Symphony No. 1 (1969)* [27:53] Hiljaisuus (Silence) (1982) [4:56] Violin Concerto (1981-82)** [27:38] *Sakari Tepponen – violin solo (fourth movement) **Manfred Gräsbeck – violin Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä rec. 29 May & 1 June 1989, Ristinkirkko (Church of the Cross), Lahti, Finland BIS CD 396 [61:45] [DM]

Symphony No. 2 (1970/1995) [21:14] Symphony No. 7 ‘Hyönteissinfonia’ (Insect Symphony) (1988) [46:03] I. The Tramp, the Parasitic Hymenopter and its Larva [7:04] II. The Butterflies (The Foxtrot and Tango of the Butterflies) [4:33] III. The Dung Beetles (Grief over the Stolen Ball of Dung) [3:52] IV. The Grasshoppers [6:11] V. The Ants (The Working Music of the Ants and War Marches I and II) [11:13] VI. The Dayflies and Lullaby for the Dead Dayflies [12:45] Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä rec. January 1998, Ristinkirkko, Lahti, Finland BIS CD 936 [68:17] [DM]

Symphony No. 3 (Sinfonia Concertante) (1971/1973)* [38:23] Songs and Dances of Death (Modest Mussorgsky, arr. and orch. Aho) (1984)** [19:58] *Jaakko Kuusisto (violin)**Matti Salminen (bass) Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä rec. 17 & 19 February 2001 (symphony), 12 May 2000 (Mussorgsky), Sibelius Hall, Lahti, Finland BIS CD 1186 [59:41] [DM]

Kiinalaisia lauluja (Chinese Songs) (1997)* [18:07] I. Punainen aurinko (The Red Sun) (Text: Li Yü) [2:20] II. Miten taipuisa (How Pliant) (Text: Cho Wen-chün) [2:21] III. Kultainen lintuhiusneula (The Golden Bird Hairpin) (Text: Li Yü) [2:22] IV. Yöllä, aivan päihdyksissä (At Night, Very Drunk) (Text: Li Ch´ing-chao) [3:37] V. Syksyn tuuli (The Wind of Autumn) (Text: Li Yü) [4:20] VI. Lumen keskellä kevään viesti (Amid the Snow, the Message of Spring) (Text: Li Ch´ing-chao) [3:02] Symphony No. 4 (1972-73) [44:20] *Tiina Vahevaara (soprano) Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä rec. June 1999, Ristinkirkko, Lahti, Finland BIS CD 1066 [63:19] [DM]

Symphony No. 8 for organ and orchestra (1993)* [50:07] Pergamon, for four orchestral groups, four narrators and organ (1990)** [10:29] *Hans-Ola Ericsson (organ)**Lilli Paasikivi, Eeva-Liisa Saarinen, Tom Nyman and Matti Lehtinen (narrators); Pauli Pietiläinen (organ) Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä rec. 23-25 May 1994, Ristinkirkko, Lahti, Finland BIS CD 646 [61:54] [DM]

Symphony No. 9 for trombone and orchestra (1993-94)* [31:19] Concerto for cello and orchestra (1983-84)** [29:39] *Christian Lindberg (trombone)**Gary Hoffman (cello) Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä rec. 9-10 January 1995 (symphony), 7-8 September 1993 (concerto), Ristinkirkko, Lahti, Finland BIS CD 706 [61:59] [DM]

Syvien vesien juhla, fantasia orkesterille (Rejoicing of the Deep Waters, fantasy for orchestra) (1995) [11:03] Symphony No. 10 (1996) [46:54] Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä rec. March 1996 (fantasy), February 1997 (symphony), Ristinkirkko, Lahti, Finland BIS CD 856 [58:44] [DM]

Symphonic Dances (Hommage à Uuno Klami) (2001) [27:39] I. Prelude [3:13]
II. Return of the Flames and Dance [4:53] III. Grotesque Dance [5:15] IV. Dance of the Winds and Fires [13:56] Symphony No.11 for six percussionists and orchestra (1997-98)* [31:42] *With the Kroumata Percussion Ensemble Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä rec. January 2002 (Symphonic Dances), February 2002 (Symphony No. 11), Sibelius Hall, Lahti, Finland BIS CD 1336 [60:09] [DM]

Symphony No. 12 ‘Luosto’ (2002-03) [48:56] I. The Shamans [13:16] II. Winter Darkness and Midsummer [14:00] III. Song in the Fells [9:36] IV. Storm in the Fells [11:06] Taina Piira (soprano) Aki Alamikkotervo (tenor) Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of Lapland/John Storgårds rec. March 2007, Sibelius Hall, Lahti, Finland BIS SACD 1676 [48:56] [DM]

Concerto for tuba and orchestra (2000-01)* [28:30] Concerto for contrabassoon and orchestra (2004-0)** [34:22] * Øystein Baadsvik (tuba) * Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/Mats Rondin **Lewis Lipnick (contrabassoon) **Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Andrew Litton rec. 23 & 24 February 2006, Grieg Hall, Bergen, Norway (contrabassoon concerto); November 2006, Louis de Geer Concert Hall, Norrköping, Sweden (tuba concerto) BIS CD 1574 [63:42] [DM]

Quintet for Oboe and String Quartet (1973)* [29:13] Seitsemän inventiota ja postludi (Seven Inventions and Postlude) (1986/1998)** [15:34] Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello (1977)† [18:56] Sinfonia Lahti Chamber Ensemble *Jukka Hirvikangas (oboe), Jyrki Lasonpalo (violin I), Esa Heikkilä (violin II), Anu Airas (viola), Ilkka Pälli (cello) ** Jukka Hirvikangas (oboe), Ilkkä Palli (cello)
†Outi Viitaniemi (flute), Lasse Junttila (oboe), Jaakko Kuusisto (violin), Anu Airas (viola), Ilkka Uurtimo (cello) rec. March 1999, Kuusankoski talo, Kuusankoski, Finland; May 1999, Ristinkirkko, Lahti, Finland BIS CD 1036 [64:51] [DM]

Quintet for Bassoon and String Quartet (1977)* [37:02] Quintet for Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, Viola, Cello and Double Bass (1994)** [32:36] Sinfonia Lahti Chamber Ensemble *Harri Ahmas (bassoon), Jyrki Lasonpalo (violin I), Ulla-Maija Hallantie (violin II), Anu Airas (viola), Ilkka Pälli (cello) ** Hannu Lehtonen (alto saxophone), Harri Ahmas (bassoon), Anu Airas (viola), Ilkka Pälli (cello), Eero Munter (double bass) rec. December 1997 (*) and December 1996 (**), Ristinkirkko, Lahti, Finland BIS CD 866 [70:42] [DM]

Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909) Iberia Suite; Piano Concerto No. 1; Navarra Catalonia Aldo Ciccolini (piano); Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra/Enrique Bátiz rec. 1984 REGIS RRC1298 [64:24][IL]

A colourful and vibrant programme ... see Full Review

William ALWYN (1906-1985) Mirages; Six Nocturnes; Slum Song; Seascapes; Invocations Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano); Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone); John Turner (treble recorder); Iain Burnside (piano) rec. 2006-7 NAXOS 8.570201 [72:06][JW]

Some real discoveries here ... see Full Review

Leroy ANDERSON (1908-1975) Orchestral Music - Volume 4 BBC Concert Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.559381 [60:26][IL] 

This latest collection is irresistible ... see Full Review

George ANTHEIL (b. 1900–1959) String Quartet No.3 see Four American Quartets

Charles AVISON (1709-1770) 12 Concerti Grossi (1744) after Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) The Avison Ensemble/Pavlo Beznosiuk rec. Jubilee Theatre, St Nicholas’ Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, 26-30 November 2007. DDD. DIVINE ART DDA21213 [78:14 + 76:38] [BW]

Almost nothing to fault and everything to enjoy here ... see Full Review

Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) Polish Caprice for violin solo see CWOJDZIŇSKI

Johann Christian BACH (1735-1782) Keyboard concertos Johann Christoph Friedrich BACH (1732-1795) Keyboard concertos The Music Collection/Susan Alexander-Max (fortepiano/director) rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570474 [71:38][TP] 

A delightful disc ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations Beth Levin (piano) rec. 2007 CENTAUR CRC2927 [62:28] Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations; Chaconne from Partita in D Dong-Hyek Lim (piano) rec. Henry Wood Hall, London, April 2008 EMI CLASSICS 2159782 [65:35][JW]

One a product of youth the other of mature reflection ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750) George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759) Music for Two Trumpets and Organ Barbara Butler (trumpet); Charles Geyer (trumpet); Barbara Harbach (organ) rec. 1987 GASPARO SILVER SERIES GSS2002 [46.28][RH]

Superb trumpet playing but unsatisfactory accompaniment ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Magnificat Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Gloria, RV589 Barbara Hendricks, Ann Murray, Jean Rigby, Jorma Hynninen, ASMF & Ch/Sir Neville Marriner rec. 1990 EMI CLASSICS 2081252 [55:19] [GP-J]

Non-period versions in wonderful performances superbly captured by the engineers ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Funeral Cantatas BWV 198 & 131 Amsterdam Baroque Choir and Orchestra/Ton Koopman rec. 1994-6 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72286 [60:38][BW] 

Not first choice for either cantata but a recommendable coupling ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas and Partitas for unaccompanied violin Michael Vaiman (violin) rec. 2006 DUX 0610/11 [76:20 + 77:36][JW]

The fervour of Vaiman ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Transcriptions by Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) The Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1927-39 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111297 [75:33][RM]

These recordings transcend 1920s-1930s recording limitations ... see Full Review

Mily BALAKIREV (1837-1910) Symphony no.1 in C major (1866) [39:56] Symphonic poem Russia (1884) [13:38] Overture on three Russian songs (undated) [8:18] Symphony no.2 in D minor (1908) [35:21] Symphonic poem In Bohemia (1905) [11:57] Overture on the theme of a Spanish March (1857) [13:21] Incidental music to Shakespeare’s King Lear (1905) [35:54] Symphonic poem Tamara (1882) [21:07] Suite in B minor (1908) [16:15] Preambule [2:15] Quasi valse [8:16] Tarantella [5:44] Suite in D minor of four pieces by F. Chopin (?) [22:28] Preambule (etude) [5:09] Mazurka [3:51] Intermezzo (nocturne) [6:45] Finale (scherzo) [6:43] Oriental fantasia Islamey (orch. Lyapunov, 1916) [8:04] Symphonic poem Zelazowa Wola , op.37 (?) [14:44] Sergei LYAPUNOV (1859-1924) Symphony no.1 in B minor, op.12 (1887) [39:01] Oriental symphonic poem Hashish (1912) [24:27] Symphony no.2 in B flat minor, op.66 (1917) [49:15] Solemn overture on Russian themes, op.7 (1886) [15:34] The State Academic Symphony Orchestra/Evgeny Svetlanov rec. venue not specified, 1971-1993 THE ANTHOLOGY OF RUSSIAN SYMPHONY MUSIC SVET 04-006-1/6 [6 CDs] [RM]

This very useful set of discs could well be right up your street ... see Full Review

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Adagio for Strings; Violin Concerto; Essay no.1; Cello Concerto; Agnus Dei Various artsits rec. 1977-98 CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 2282752 [79:31][JW] 

An excellent conspectus well worth investigating ... see Full Review

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Concerto for 2 Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra; Violin Concerto; Viola Concerto Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Tamara Stefanovich (pianos); Nigel Thomas, Neil Percy (percussion); Gidon Kremer (violin); Yuri Bashmet (viola); Berliner Philharmoniker/Pierre Boulez rec. 2004-8 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4777440 [70:35][DC]

Top notch line-up, artists and programme alike ... see Full Review

Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Symphony No. 2 (1924-6) [37:39] Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor (1931-2)* [40:46] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Myer Fredman (2); Raymond Leppard* (5) rec. Walthamstow Town Hall, London, Oct 1970 (2), Feb 1971 (5). ADD LYRITA SRCD.233 [78.28] [JQ]

Should have a place of honour in any Bax collection ... see Full Review

Antonio BAZZINI (1818-1897) Virtuoso works for Violin and Piano Chloë Hanslip (violin); Caspar Frantz (piano) rec. 2007  NAXOS 8.570800 [70:47][JW]

Pleasure and real success of this well recorded recital ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.9 in D Minor Op.125 Choral (1824) [63:17] Overture - Leonore III in C major Op.72a [13:38] Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Danish Radio Chorus/Fritz Busch Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Busch rec. 1950 GUILD GHCD 2343 [77:15]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.9 in D Minor Op.125 Choral (1824) [62:37]Overture - Leonore III in C major Op.72a [13:52] Teatro Colón Orchestra and Choir/Arturo Toscanini rec. 1941 GUILD GHCD 2344 [77:43]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
CD 1 [73:15]Symphony No.9 in D Minor Op.125 Choral (1824) [72:57] Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Bruno Kittel Choir rec. 1942 CD 2 [69:20] Overture - Leonore III in C major Op.72a – rehearsal [10:59] Overture - Leonore III in C major Op.72a [14:36] Overture - Egmont [8:24] Overture - Coriolan [8:57] Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Concerto Grosso in A Op.6 No.10 [14:57] Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Rosamunde I and Rosamunde II – incidental music [10:54] Wilhelm Furtwängler GUILD GHCD 2345/46 [73:15 + 69:20] [JW]

Three important documents worthily presented ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 9 Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra/Franz Konwitschny rec. 1960 BERLIN CLASSICS 0014242BC [70:47][TB]

A great symphony brought to life by one if its greatest interpreters ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 Mikhail Pletnev (piano); Russian National Orchestra/Christian Gansch rec. 2006 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4777475 [3 CDs: 67:52 + 63:42 + 37:45][JFL]

Among the finds of the year ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 Evgeny Kissin (piano); London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis rec. 2007 EMI CLASSICS 2063112 [3 CDs: 62:44 + 74:20 + 41:48][DC]

I have to admit, I fell in love with these recordings ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet 10 Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) String Quartet 5 Atrium Quartet rec. 2008 ZIG-ZAG TÉRRITOIRES ZZT080702 [60:09] [LW]

Competition is fierce, but the Atrium need not fear comparison with the best ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-4 Joseph Fuchs (violin); Artur Balsam (piano) rec. 1952 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111251 [64:34] Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonatas Nos. 5-7 Joseph Fuchs (violin); Artur Balsam (piano) rec. 1952 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111252 [66:09][JW]

From the first complete LP cycle of the Beethoven Violin Sonatas ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa Solemnis; Mass in C major London Philharmonic Orchestra & New Philharmonia Orchestra/Carlo Maria Giulini rec. 1970-5 EMI CLASSICS GEMINI 5176642 [71:15 + 65:19][JQ]

These performances are still worthy of collectors’ attention ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa Solemnis Chorakademie der Tiroler Festspiele (choir); Erl Haydn-Orchester von Bozen und Trient/Gustav Kühn rec. 2007 COL LEGNO WWE1CD60011 [79:58][AS] 

Good, not revelatory … severely compromised by the choral singing ... see Full Review

Berkeley and Benjamin piano music played Colin Horsley and Lamar Crowson CD 1 Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) Colin Horsley (piano) CD 2 Arthur BENJAMIN (1893-1960) Lamar Crowson (piano) rec.1958/1960 ADD LYRITA REAM.2109 [49:24 + 35:58] [JF]

A fantastic set – for three reasons ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Victoria BORISOVA–OLLAS (b.1969) Wings of the Wind; Symphony No.1; Roosters in Love; Im Klosterhofe; Silent Island Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/Mats Rondin rec. 1999-2008 PHONO SUECIA PSCD171 [62:19][BBr] 

Music of the very highest order – an exciting composer ... see Full Review

Composers at the Piano - Bowen and Reizenstein York BOWEN (1884-1961)
York Bowen (piano) Franz REIZENSTEIN (1911-1968) Franz Reizenstein (piano)
rec. mono, May 1960 (Bowen); October 1958 (Reizenstein). ADD
LYRITA REAM.2105 [42:13 + 51:37] [JW][JF]

We should be more than thankful for this ... see Full Review

Discovering Masterpieces Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto; Documentary Gil Shaham (violin); Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Claudio Abbado rec. 2002 EUROARTS 2056078 [69:00][TP]  

A cherishable introduction to Brahms’ violin concerto ... see Full Review

Tomás BRETÓN (1850-1923) Piano Trio in E major (1887) [34:42] Cuatro piezas españolas (1913) [18:44] LOM Piano Trio (Joan Orpella (violin); José Mor (cello); Daniel Ligorio (piano)) rec. Auditorium Paper de Música, Capellades, Barcelona, November 2006 (Cuatro piezas) and April 2007 (Trio) NAXOS 8.570713 [53:26] [JW]

Not quite infallible but energetic, generous sensitively shaped ... see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Oration see BRITTEN

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Cello Symphony Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Oration Steven Isserlis (cello); City London Sinfonia/Richard Hickox rec. 1987 EMI CLASSICS BRITISH COMPOSERS 5059162 [68:18][DW] 

An ideal but uncommon though obvious coupling … see Full Review

Billy Budd (1951) Ian Bostridge - Nathan Gunn London Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Harding rec. 2007. DDD VIRGIN CLASSICS 5 190392 [3 CDs: 23:00 + 63:01 + 79:41] [AOz]

Has changed the whole way I listen to Billy Budd ... see Full Review

Julius BÜRGER (1887-1995) Legende (orchestral song) (1919) [12:43] Stille der Nacht (orchestral song) (1919) see SHREKER

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Fantasia Contrappuntistica etc. Hamish Milne (piano) rec. 2007 HYPERION CDA67677 [71:27][DC] 

A genuine pianofest, and a real treat for ears and mind alike ... see Full Review

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707) Harpsichord Music: 3 Lars Ulrik Mortensen (harpsichord) rec. 1998 NAXOS 8.570581 [54:28][BW] 

Another excellent Naxos contribution to Buxtehude’s tercentenary ... see Full Review

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707) Sacred Works Göteborg Baroque/Magnus Kjellson rec. 2006 FOOTPRINT RECORDS FRCD033 [58:28][JW] 

Makes up in quality of performance what it lacks in originality of programming ... see Full Review

Havergal BRIAN (1876-1972) Symphony No. 6 Sinfonia Tragica (1948) [19:43] Symphony No. 16 (1960) [17:41] Arnold COOKE (1906-2005) Symphony No. 3 in D (1967) [22:59] London PO/Myer Fredman (Brian); Nicholas Braithwaite (Cooke) rec. Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, 10 April 1973 (Brian); 7 January 1974 (Cooke). ADD originally issued on LP as SRCS67 (Brian); SRCS78 (Cooke) LYRITA SRCD.295 [60:26] [JQ]

Add this splendid CD to your collection without delay ... see Full Review

Fritz BRUN (1878-1959) Symphony No. 5 (1929) [38:03] Symphony No. 10 (1935) [30:27] Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Adriano rec. Mosfilms Studios, Moscow, December 2006 GUILD GMCD 7320 [68:30] [IL]

Intense and emotional music – challenging listening for the adventurous ... see Full Review

Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[Part 1 New] [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R] [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] [Part 7 Misc M-Z]
[Recommended recordings]


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