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Lindberg: Piano Concerto / Kraft


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Audio CD, June 29, 2004
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Product Details

  • Performer: Magnus Lindberg, Toimii Ensemble
  • Orchestra: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Composer: Magnus Lindberg
  • Audio CD (June 29, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ondine
  • ASIN: B00020HEQG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #439,667 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 1, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This Ondine disc contains two pieces by Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg, representing both the avant-garde style of his youth ("KRAFT") and the more restrained style to which he turned in the late 1980s and continues with today ("Piano Concerto"). They are performed by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra with Toimii, a Finnish new-music ensemble with which Lindberg has long been associated, conducted by the composer's old school chum Esa-Pekka Salonen. Lindberg himself performs piano in "Kraft" and in the soloist's role in the concerto.

"KRAFT" (1983-1985), ironically comissioned as a mere piano concerto, is the monster of a piece that really brought Lindberg to fame. It was written for the Toimii Ensemble and orchestra and premiered at the Helsinki Festival in 1985 where it created a sensation. Lindberg's fascinations at this point were rhythm and rough blocks of sound, as well as massive proportions: the score is over a meter tall and there are harmonies with as many as 72 notes. This is futuristic music in some ways: the soloists of the Toimii Ensemble are amplified, and many facets of the music were written with the help of computer software. However, it also looks to primal music or the music of impoverish peoples with its agressive percussion, some of which is performed on scrap metal. Although Lindberg found inspiration in schools that would normally alienate the public--most notably Darmstadt and punk rock--"KRAFT" is a fun and truly entertaining work.

After "KRAFT", Lindberg remained mostly silent for three years while he reconsidered his technique.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Roy U. Rojas Wahl on October 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Did really nobody before me review this album?

Anyway, the piano concerto is brilliant, both in its form and its aspiration. Spherical piano-soundbites occur, sometimes nervous, then again calmed down, only to give way to the orchestra engaging in a kind of slowly building thunderstorm, which later gives way to spiralling, but well tempered piano figures. A relationship to Bach is evident here, and i have I never heard that in Lindbergs music before. This work is the most lyrical I know from Lindberg. I find his piano concerto actually a-typical of him; often his music appears either to nervous or too powerful to me, which is of course a very subjective, personal way of hearing things, and which brings me to the second part of this review:

Power = KRAFT! What a mountain of music! Here, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Finnish RSO show the absolute mastering of their stuff, and maintain a tension even through the quiter passages which is nothing else but highly laudable. The piece itself burst into one's ear, only to slowly fade away, but with a burleskism, and with screaming riffs of phrases instead of elegance (like in the piano concerto). But this doesn't mean it isn't original or interesting: The horns and post-horns, accompanied by drums and cimbali, but most notably the interesting contributions of the Tomii ensemble (which consists of seven members including cellist Anssi Kartunen, and Lindberg and Salonen themselves!). Later I hear parallels in the use of lush cimbali and drums comparable to LA Variations from Salonen himself, but soon we are back into Linbergs powerplays (or call macho-ism?).

In summary: This is highly original music, ranging from the tempered elagance of the piano concerto to the sound explosions and explorations of KRAFT.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By scarecrow VINE VOICE on April 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
this is actually the first piece I liked by Lindberg, and I'm a sucker for brilliant orchestration,if it has content like Boulez or Hughes Dufourt,Peter Eotvos,Wolfgang Rihm and Helmut Lachenmann to mention a few, but Lindberg has that aggressive demeanor he brings to his music, but the music ideas the linear ideas are always kept on a short leash,not wanting them to wander too far from an emotive focus I suspect, here the :Piano Concerto: is finely conceived, 'Momente form' somewhat is the structure, where the music seems to drift and unfold from moment to moment,the structural idea however is where the creator is suppose to introduce new materials, startling timbres in each moment, (sometimes each measure of music introduces new timbres,a hammer blow or wind flourish for example)As the"concerto" continues however(with Lindberg himself as pianist) it seems it doesn't draw strength from itself but gets confused within its own materials, so the ideas become tamer,more domesticated as we progress, and then with "marking time" like ideas,1 and 2 and 3 and 4 an,fast, well this is not interesting, Lindberg does however laways get a brilliant sound from the orchestra, the playing is extraordinary Esa=Pekka has a marvelous sense for these threadbare works,luminous timbres floating durations of filigree melodic ideas,like late serial Stavinsky of the "Septet or more interesting the "Movements for Piano and Orchestra"

:Kraft: however is another matter, like we are seeing the other deeper more disturbed side of Lindberg's psychology, I can gloss over the "special effects" orchestration for again I'm a sucker for timbre,but lots of percussion deaden things here, stops the music from flowing,like the four horse riders in"Lord of the Rings" bringing tyranny and death, Lindberg speaks in an original
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