WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Tuukkanen: Orchestral Music / Koivula


Release Date: 05/25/2004 
Label:  Alba   Catalog #: 189   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Kalervo Tuukkanen
Conductor:  Hannu Koivula
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Joensuu City Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $22.98
CD:  $18.99
In Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews


R E V I E W S:

Fanfare:
An overture with unabashedly tonal music, colorful orchestration, and clear, cheery themes, from Finland in the 1930s: whose could it be? Kalervo Tuukkanen (1909–79) is not exactly known internationally, although he was an important force in Finnish musical life. In 1945, he helped found the Association of Finnish Composers, and a little later established the first significant series of recordings of Finnish music. The only large-scale music of his recorded is his Second Violin Concerto and Third Symphony, on a Finlandia CD produced long after his death. I haven’t heard that. The overture is to a play called The Loggers
Read more (1934, rev. 1956). The first and last movements of the Serenade (1944) have direct references to the Sibelius symphony in the same key, the Fifth. The other movements gently dance and sing their way to the sunny conclusion via music sometimes based on tunes many in the Nordic countries may recognize, according to the excellent notes accompanying the disc. (The tunes’ titles are given only in Finnish.)

After these beautifully scored, mostly short movements for smaller orchestra, the rest are for strings. That’s not surprising, because Tuukkanen was a violinist as well as composer, conductor, organizer, and teacher. Evening Song (1944) is a slow, restrained lament, with a little more chromaticism. Midsummer Dance (1944, the Finnish being Karkelo, an example of one) explores string contrasts in sound and texture more fully, with counterpoint occasionally to the fore. The music to the play The Cloud is quite varied. A neo-impressionist first movement leads to simple lyricism in the second and a gentle dance in the third. Here, as elsewhere, the Finnish Romantic roots of Tuukkanen’s music are apparent, with results that sometimes reflect the music of his teacher Leevi Madetoja—and just as often don’t. Romantic Moments for Strings (1940, rev. 1960) presents an elegy, scherzo, and romance, with writing as expert as anything on the disc, although the movements are more vignettes than deeper developments. Admittedly, the music hasn’t a character that immediately grabs attention. It builds successfully on a harmonic idiom that includes Dvo?ák and Tchaikovsky. Tempus festum, from much later (1958), develops ideas more, with wider range of expression and more drama. It is this piece and the Serenade that will lead me to check out the two recorded larger-scale works by this mostly forgotten composer. Clear, expert playing and recording make this a delightful CD for those interested in string and small-orchestra miniatures.

Paul Rapoport, FANFARE

ClassicsToday:
To the extent that it is known at all outside Finland, Kalervo Tuukkanen's name may be recognized from an old Finlandia recording of his Sea Symphony and Second Violin Concerto. Those works, and these, show Tuukkanen to be an approachable, conservative composer of freshly melodic music, with a high degree of professional craftsmanship. All of the music here has great charm, and in the substantial, four-movement Serenata giocosa, that charm rises to a high level of beauty. The opening Overture to The Loggers, Tuukkanen's Op. 1, bustles with high spirited energy, while the remaining pieces (all for string orchestra) belong to that venerable category of works that make terrific quiet listening.

The performances, by the Joensuu City Orchestra, do the music full justice. Hannu Koivula conducts what sound like well prepared interpretations, and the works themselves are never so difficult as to tax the resources of his players. The sound is very bright and up-close--a bit too much so for my taste. I would have preferred to hear the winds better integrated into the ensemble--but on the other hand the string playing has great depth and presence considering the orchestra's small size. I would be very interested in hearing more of Tuukkanen's larger works. This attractive release only whets the appetite for more.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
The Loggers: Overture by Kalervo Tuukkanen
Conductor:  Hannu Koivula
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Joensuu City Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934, rev. 1956; Finland 
2.
Serenata giocosa by Kalervo Tuukkanen
Conductor:  Hannu Koivula
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Joensuu City Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; Finland 
3.
Evening Song by Kalervo Tuukkanen
Conductor:  Hannu Koivula
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Joensuu City Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; Finland 
4.
Midsummer Dance by Kalervo Tuukkanen
Conductor:  Hannu Koivula
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Joensuu City Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; Finland 
5.
The Cloud: Little Suite by Kalervo Tuukkanen
Conductor:  Hannu Koivula
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Joensuu City Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Finland 
6.
Romantic Moments for Strings by Kalervo Tuukkanen
Conductor:  Hannu Koivula
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Joensuu City Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940, rev. 1960; Finland 
7.
Tempus festum by Kalervo Tuukkanen
Conductor:  Hannu Koivula
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Joensuu City Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; Finland 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In