Rautavaara: Symphony No. 7 - Angel of Light / Annunciations for Organ, Brass & Winds
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by Kari Jussila
Top Customer Reviews
Annunciations, which was written in 1976-77, is scored for the unusual combination of wind orchestra, brass quintet, and organ. As you can well imagine, this leads to some interesting sonorities, and Rautavaara takes full advantage of the sonic possibilities--including such ideas as having the organist turn off the organ in mid-chord, a remarkable effect--in writing music that seems to flow naturally from birdsong to chorale and beyond. Overall, this is a fascinating piece that rewards repeated listening. Taken together, Angel of Light and Annunciations add up to more than an hour of utterly compelling, well recorded, and well performed music that makes this a CD that I truly urge those readers who love orchestral music to track down and audition.
Other reviewers here have remarked on the overwhelming, almost physical quality of this music. I have to admit that listening to Rautavaara's "Angel of light" symphony has given me the nearest equivalent of what might be called a mystical (or near-mystical) experience. A practical agnostic (although I try to cultivate an open mind), I can now appreciate, at least in artistic terms, what would it feel like to have an experience of this kind -- in this case, an angelic vision. For Rautavaara, angels are not simply the harbingers of good and light as they are so often described in classical (and popular) art -- they also have their dark, elemental and terrifying side, represented in the music by dissonant figures and contrasting elements. Rautavaara himself likes to quote the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who in one of his poems writes something like every angel being terrifying. And that is exactly the image painted by the music here: sublime, overwhelming, yes, even terrifying.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yes, a Finnish Angel?
I have to say, first of all, I am NOT an extremely close friend of contemporary "classical" music, a.k.a. "Serious Music"... Read more
By way of recommendation, this CD is my first exposure to this contemporary Finnish composer. While it's perhaps too easy to pigeonhole Rautavaara's Symphony No. Read morePublished on October 10, 2008 by Moldyoldie
Music by the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara tends to be entertaining the first time one hears it, and rather empty afterward. Read morePublished on December 10, 2006 by Christopher Culver
Rautavaara is, along with Arvo Part, the best of todays' composers. On this CD, containing his 5th and 7th symphonies, (both with word names- i.e. Read morePublished on December 29, 1999