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Symphonies 1 & 4

J. Kokkonen Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 21, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ondine
  • ASIN: B00000378R
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #869,123 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. '...Durch Einen Spiegel..' Metamorphosis
2. Sym No.1: 1.Moderato
3. Sym No.1: 2. Allegretto
4. Sym No.1: 3. Allegro
5. Sym No.1: 4. Adagio
6. Sym No.4: 1. Moderato
7. Sym No.4: 2. Allegro
8. Sym No.4: 3. Adagio

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indeed, Through a Glass Darkly. October 20, 2000
Format:Audio CD
When serialism (what people refer to colloquially as atonal music) became orthodoxy in Western countries after World War II, the conformist pressure to adopt it grew hard to resist. But one could discern degrees of enthusiasm for the seemingly mandatory new musical language. The musical establishment in Finland offers a case in point. A composer like Einar Englund could, on the one hand, simply refuse to adopt what struck him as anti-musical; a composer like Nils-Erik Fougstedt could, on the other hand, embrace the new style as though there were none other. As ever in Scandinavia, one could also see evidence of a "third way," as in the case of the late Joonas Kokkonen (1921-1997). Kokkonen's early work (mostly chamber music) takes a strong imprint from mid-century Russians of the Soviet School, especially Shostakovich, but beginning with his "Music for String Orchestra" (1957), perhaps to clear his palette of influences, he adopted quasi-serial procedures. A few "cells" based on non-repeating intervals undergo strict development which nevertheless tends to emphasize a feeling of tonality. The First Symphony (1958) bases all its material on fairly by-the-book transmutations of a twelve-note theme, the steps of which, however, Kokkonen arranges to suggest triadic harmonies. (The model for this is Alban Berg, as in his Violin Concerto.) The Second Symphony (1960) relaxes even more, while the Third (1967) and Fourth (1968) seem actually, in their insistence on the low registers and their employment of organ-like pedal-notes, to recur to Sibelius. (This statement would probably have irked Kokkonen, but I see no way of avoiding it.) Kokkonen's climaxes tend to build seamlessly and to break forth in surges of brass-dominated chordal writing, often abruptly cut off. Read more ›
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