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Clarinet Concerto / Gran Duo / Chorale

Magnus Lindberg , Sakari Oramo , Kari Kriikku , Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Kari Kriikku, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Sakari Oramo
  • Composer: Magnus Lindberg
  • Audio CD (October 18, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ondine
  • ASIN: B000ARHNHG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,663 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Clarinet Concerto - Kari Krikku
2. Gran Duo - Kari Krikku
3. Chorale - Kari Krikku

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Music, Astonishing Performance April 14, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The highlight of this CD is Lindberg's wonderful Clarinet Concerto (2002), but the other selections are worthwhile too. The Gran Duo (2000) was written for the same forces as Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments, although its enormous vitality, expressed in ceaseless contrapuntal swirls of sound, sets it apart from the much cooler aesthetic of Stravinsky's sound world. The Chorale (2001-02) is based on Bach's setting of "Es ist genug" from Cantata 20 -- the same chorale Berg quotes in his Violin Concerto.

Still, it's mainly for Kari Kriikku's phenomenal performance of the Clarinet Concerto that most people will return to this recording. Kriikku has worked closely with the composer on a number of pieces, and this must surely be their finest joint effort. It is both great music and a breathtaking opportunity for technical display. Kriikku is asked to do all manner of things, including extremely high notes, multiphonics, growls and glissandos, and the vanishingly quiet tones that only the clarinet can produce. The orchestral fabric supports him with a variety of gestures that approach the virtuosity of the solo part; I am particularly fond of the bird-like twitters and passaggi that keep the music aloft for minutes at a stretch.

Uniting the disparate thematic material of the Concerto -- the notes speak of "eight core characters [as] in a play" -- is a gentle but ultimately soaring theme that may be an homage to Debussy (think of the midpoint of the Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un Faune rather than the Clarinet Rhapsody however).

This is the best new-music disc I have heard so far in 2006. Beautifully recorded and balanced. One's enjoyment only deepens with repeated listening.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Genius, Mind Blowing Virtuosity October 24, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I am blown away by this recording. Kari Kriikku has proven in this album that he is the epitome of the modern day virtuoso. His interpretation of Lindberg's Concerto (which was written for him) is fresh and vibrant. I was especially blown away when Krikku hit a high concert b-flat an octave above the five ledger line b-flat above the staff! It sounds like a violin harmonic! Lindberg's concerto is exceptional, and full of lush colors. I would recommend this CD to everyone, I think anyone would enjoy it.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars M.Lindberg coming into his own November 19, 2007
Format:Audio CD
This disc, along with his recent marvelous Violin Concerto on Sony(his best work to date) signify a huge growth from his previous, and at times shallow sounding works. This clarinet concerto is a stunning virtuosic piece for the instrument with a slow and almost elegiac opening section(there are no movements per se) Despite its relatively accessible language it is still Lindberg, just a more mature and harmonically reliable and intelligent one with a growing ear for melody rather than just sound(which he has always excelled at). This combination will eventually peak in his Violin Concerto(released by SONY!!! which in itself is remarkable considering it is such a new work usually the provence of ONDINE or BIS.
either way, this work and his violin concerto make the future of Lindberg a very appealing prospect now that he has the courage and convinction to abondon(though not entirely)the chains of the avant-garde school which provided funding to composers who have not the slightest melodic talent. He like many composers now, are learning to take the best of that world and combine it with tradition. Before this CD, I was worried about him for the complete opposite reason another reviewer critiqued him. His language is still his own. I strongly recommend this along with his Violin concerto to hear the "coming out party" so-to-speak of a very gifted and significant composer. Bravo Magnus!
As if to confirm my assumptions even more, the other two works on this disc are also very different from past Lindberg experiments in their adherence to an identifiable ideal rather than relying on sound and texture alone, which is what he had previously adhered too.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This Ondine disc contains three recent works by great Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg. performed by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sakari Oramo. Listening to this disc, one can tell that Lindberg's style has slightly changed, and I have mixed emotions about the material here.

The "Clarinet Concerto" (2002) was written for clarinetist Kari Kriiku, a friend of the composer since their school days and a player in many important Lindberg premiers through the last two decades. While only a single movement, the concerto is clearly divided into various sections, signalled by the recapitulation of a seven-note figure. The orchestra very much takes a backseat to the soloist, for the concerto was written with an obsession with the virtuoso features of the clarinet, and Kriiku does everything possible with the instrument. Since so much of the concerto is played by the slightest orchestra forces and single clarinet, it has a very restrained soundworld, and often the clarinet gives slow, wistful tones. It is for very this reason that I find the concerto does not stack up to what Lindberg has done elsewhere. What I've found best about Magnus Lindberg's music are the incredibly frenetic nature and thick textures of such pieces of "Kinetics", "Engine", and "Cantigas". Anssi Karttunen once said that a room in which Lindberg wrote was covered with vitamin bottles, empty energy drink cans, and cigar stubs, while others have talked of how Lindberg rarely slept during festivals. Perhaps I come from a generation with too short an attention span, but I really enjoy music that's often fast and packed with detail, so Lindberg's has unusually been highly entertaining.

The same problem of slow tempo is held by the latter two works on the disc, but they are rather more satisfying.
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