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Aulis Sallinen: Symphonies 1 & 7

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Audio CD, November 18, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Aulis Sallinen certainly ranks with Einojuhani Rautavaara as one of the most important classical composer in today’s Finnish music world. His symphonic music and operas have brought him international renown. His music is far from any and all modern dogmatism, and its candid intensity speaks directly to the hearer. A strictly tonal relation, simple thematic formulas, and clarity of formal construction together with powerful internal tension are the secrets of his popularity. cpo now proposes to honor this composer with a new edition of his Principal Symphonic Works. cpo has invited Aulis Sallinen himself to select the works and to serve as an artistic adviser — thus guaranteeing the highest degree of authenticity! The Symphony No. 7 composed in 1995 is subtitled "The Dreams of Gandalf" because it traces its origins to the planned ballet The Lord of the Rings.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 18, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • Run Time: 63 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000DB4YD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #587,045 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD
When setting out to write a review of this disc I've been a bit daunted because I keep finding more things to admire. I consider Aulis Sallinen (b. 1935) to be, with Rautavaara, one of the great living Finnish composers. His voice is almost instantly recognizable and it speaks directly to me with its ceremonial solemnity mixed with mastery of impressionistic and magical orchestration. His music is obviously influenced by that of his Finnish predecessor, Sibelius. Although completely tonal it does not tend to partake of the faux-medieval religiosity of some other Baltic or Scandinavian composers; this is music of the present. Still, it frequently has a mythic quality. This disc, containing four works--two of them [Solemn Overture; Seventh Symphony] unfamiliar to me--helps confirm the impression of greatness. Added to that are the marvelous performances by the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz led by Ari Rasilainen under the direct supervision of the composer. Rasilainen had been known to me for his significant series of excellent recordings of the orchestral music of Kurt Atterberg. He and his orchestra do not disappoint here.
The first and last pieces on the disc are the most recently composed. 'A Solemn Overture (King Lear)', Op. 75 and the Seventh Symphony date from the late 1990s. The Overture, a recomposition of music from his latest opera, 'King Lear,' is an eleven-minute piece not specifically intended as a preface to the opera itself. It is based on four themes, the first three of which are harmonically related. Each theme is played twice during the composition. The thematic argument is interrupted repeatedly by a fanfare figure. Fittingly, the overall tone, as in the opera, is inexorably tragic.
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