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Violin Concerto / Angels & Visitations

4.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 22, 1997
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Violin Concerto / Angels & Visitations
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Total price: $46.25
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  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
1
30
12:52
Album Only
2
30
11:27
Album Only
3
30
11:29
Album Only
4
30
19:16
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 22, 1997)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ondine
  • ASIN: B000003797
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #303,489 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Rautavaara is a modern composer accessible to anyone, but without sacrificing musical interest. The three compositions on this disc are a good introduction to his work. The closest "big name" musical kin I can think of would be Sibelius, but Rautavaara's work is more mystical in conception. He is very much his own composer, and his musical personality is well represented here.
The violin concerto is more overtly dramatic than many of Rautavaara's compositions, but never vulgar, and the solo part is played with beauty and fire by Elmar Oliveira.
"Isle of Bliss" is an orchestral fantasia lasting just a little over 11 minutes. After a strong beginning it goes a bit formless in the middle (somewhat of a weak point with this composer; he tends to sag a bit structurally at times) but masterfully evokes a strong sense of atmosphere throughout. Listening to it, I felt as though I was walking the chilly, rocky coastline of a secluded island, and as it turns out a remote Baltic Sea island was the composer's inspiration for the piece (as he himself explains in the excellent booklet notes).
"Angels and Visitations" is another work in this composer's self-titled "Angel Series," but as usual it's no new-age orchestral puff piece. As he explains in the booklet, it was inspired by a terrible recurring dream he had as a child. It stirs up a strong sense of drama, effectively mixing beauty, terror and awe throughout its nearly 20-minute length.
Not quite an hour of music, excellently recorded as is usually the case with Ondine. Leif Segerstam obviously believes in this music and leads the orchestra through some of the most effective Rautavaara performances on record. I play this one often and would recommend it to anyone interested in Rautavaara or in approachable, interesting new music.
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By A Customer on December 29, 1999
Format: Audio CD
The violin concerto is a very energetic and interesting work. Very lovely and myserious at points as well. Brilliant orchestration. Angels and Visitions, also the title of the CD, is an almost impressionistic work, and is superb. All in all highly recommended-5 stars.
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Format: Audio CD
Although I have many reservations about "Angel of Light" (Rautavaara's Seventh Symphony), I have none whatsoever about "Angels and Visitations", the title work of this CD. It's a very well constructed 19 minute tone poem which was inspired by a nightmare that the composer experienced multiple times. It's a truly beautiful and creative piece of music. Rautavaara is a master of orchestration, of course. But what strikes me the most about "Angels and Visitations" is its absolutely flawless musical narrative -- how motives are developed and juxtaposed, and how textures grow from one another or are transformed. And it has none of the excessive (sentimental, I dare say) sweetness of the Seventh Symphony -- I don't think that would be a proper response to a nightmare! Indeed, "Angels and Visitations" is really quite gritty in some passages. Rautavaara's own liner notes refer to Rilke's famous phrase "Every angel is terrifying" -- which is also a great description of this piece, especially when one remembers another idea from Rilke's Duino Elegies: that beauty is only the beginning terror. The other pieces on this disc are not quite as gripping to me. The violin concerto is certainly very lively and an effective showpiece for the soloist, but it doesn't quite hold my interest. The most recent work on his disc, "Isle of Bliss" is rather too close to the sentimental world of the Seventh Symphony for me -- the beginning is rather commonplace (almost like dated film music), and the main body of the work is too uneventful for me. Thus, I can't rate this disc higher since only one work out of the three in this disc really holds my interest.
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By A Customer on December 29, 1999
Format: Audio CD
The violin concerto is a very energetic and interesting work. Very lovely and myserious at points as well. Brilliant orchestration. Angels and Visitions, also the title of the CD, is an almost impressionistic work, and is superb. All in all highly recommended-5 stars.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This recording was released in 1997. It includes three pieces of music: Violin Concerto; Isle of Bliss; and Angels and Visitations. This is powerful and accessible music. Sibelius is a major influence but also Americans like Howard Hanson. This is a beautiful album.

The recording of "Angels and Visitations" on this album makes an appearance in the book: "1001 Classical Recordings You Must Hear Before You Die." It is a remarkable piece of music. The Penguin Classical Music Guide gives this CD an outstanding review and awards it one of its coveted rosettes which signifies a special recording.

Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara became popular in 1996 with the release of his Symphony No. 7, subtitled "Angel of Light." Elmar Oliveira is the violinist. It features the Helsinki Philarmonic Orchestra conducted by Leif Segerstam.
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