WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Kaipainen: Cello Concerto, Etc / Ylonen, Tapani, Et Al

Release Date: 03/21/2006 
Label:  Ondine   Catalog #: 1062   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Jouni Kaipainen
Performer:  Esa TapaniMarko Ylönen
Conductor:  Hannu Lintu
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

KAIPAINEN Horn Concerto. 1 Cello Concerto No. 1 2 ? Hannu Lintu, cond; Finnish RSO; Esa Tapani (hn); 1 Marko Ylönen (vc) 2 ? ONDINE ODE 1062

So many composers are at work now in the Nordic countries producing large-scale works of great technical proficiency, orchestral wizardry, and musical depth. Many of their best works are Read more concertos, commissioned and championed by the profusion of extraordinary virtuoso soloists who reside in the region. With such high standards in the actual craft of composition, it takes something more to allow one composer to stand out from the pack: an innate ability to create memorable or distinctively personal thematic material. Aulis Sallinen and Kalevi Aho achieve this, in my opinion, and this new release leads me to believe Jouni Kaipainen may be another.

Kaipainen (b. 1956) was a pupil of Sallinen and, in fact, horn-player Esa Tapani has appeared on a cpo issue in a performance of Sallinen?s recent horn concerto. The works of master and pupil share certain characteristics, the most notable of which is momentum. Often the outer movements of Kaipainen?s Horn Concerto Op. 61?and this is also true of his Cello Concerto?fall into a chugging ostinato accompaniment, the type of figure that drives neo-Classical works like Stravinsky?s Violin Concerto. The CD notes claim Kaipainen is not neo-Classical, but as far as these accompanying figures are concerned, I would disagree. (Nevertheless, there are certainly more facets to Kaipainen?s work, and he does not deal in pastiche.) Basically, the word for this music is solid, which is not to say it is dull or heavy, but rather it is strong, propulsive, and focused. Also, as I said before, the thematic material is distinctive and, in the broad contemporary definition of the word, tonal?for instance, the big climactic theme in the first movement of the Horn Concerto bears a passing resemblance to the tune Hearts and Flowers . Kaipainen?s orchestration is distinctive, too: he utilizes contemporary textures such as buzzing muted strings en masse , but is not averse to giving long lyrical lines to the violin section or building to a Straussian climax?nor does he fall into the clichés of contemporary orchestral writing like big brass clusters or dense tuttis with an overlay of tuned percussion. There is some lovely, delicate percussion detail in the Horn Concerto?s hymn-like second movement, yet another response to 9/11, in a passage which eventually breaks into an anguished waltz before coming to rest via a Lark Ascending -type solo violin onto a contemplative F-Major chord.

The Cello Concerto No. 1, op. 65, of a year later (2002) is more discursive, with a first movement rich in incident. (This movement was originally planned as a complete work on its own.) The cello has a showy role throughout, replete with pizzicato figures, arpeggios, and scale passages that are cohesively developed out of the basic thematic material. The cellist on this CD, Marko Ylönen, commissioned the piece as a result of winning the New York Concert Artists Guild competition in 1996. He is a very fine player, who also recorded for Ondine the Cello Concerto ?Sotto Voce? by Shchedrin. Like the Horn Concerto, Kaipainen?s Cello Concerto is in three movements that could be described variously as propulsive, melodic, and virtuosic. The soloist encounters many changes of mood along the way, relating to them as a 20th-century-style observer rather than the combatant of the Romantic concerto tradition.

I must admit I haven?t had time to get fully inside the skin of these works. That pleasure awaits me, but already I find myself returning to the lush, heartfelt song which graces the slow movement of the Cello Concerto. It is gorgeous writing, meltingly played. Performances by both dedicatees are above reproach and recording quality is good: the orchestral sound is perhaps more two-dimensional than usual with this company, but not enough to worry about. These two concertos are substantial works and promise ongoing enjoyment, making this disc a worthwhile long-term investment.

FANFARE: Phillip Scott
Read less

Works on This Recording

Concerto for Horn, Op.61 by Jouni Kaipainen
Performer:  Esa Tapani (French Horn)
Conductor:  Hannu Lintu
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Finland 
Notes: Composition written: Finland (2001 - 2002). 
Concerto for Cello no 1, Op. 65 by Jouni Kaipainen
Performer:  Marko Ylönen (Cello)
Conductor:  Hannu Lintu
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2002; Finland 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title