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Nieminen: Flute Concerto, Clarinet Concerto, Vicoli In Ombra / Gallois, Raasakka, Jyväskylä Sinfonia

Release Date: 04/28/2009 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572061   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Kai Nieminen
Performer:  Patrick GalloisMikko Raasakka
Conductor:  Patrick Gallois
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jyväskylä Sinfonia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

NIEMINEN Palomar. 1 Through Shadows I Can Hear Ancient Voices. 2 Alleys in Twilight Patrick Gallois (fl, 1 cond); Mikko Raasakka (cl); 2 Snf Finlandia Jyväskylä NAXOS 8.572061 (58:31)

This is wonderfully evocative music, idiomatic and supple, though not quite Read more fitting the “impressionist” label that I was initially considering. Kai Nieminen, guitarist and composer, finds his inspiration often in literary forms, but then chooses not to force the meaning of those forms upon his audience. His music is fantasia-like, but deeper in meaning and more complex than most. The titles serve to provide starting points for the imagination, yet do not intend the music to be followed in a tone-poem manner from reference point to reference point.

He writes very well for his solo instruments, giving them a thorough workout (little rest for the performers in these works) and integrating them with the orchestral textures in a marvelous way. The flute and clarinet concertos are highly sophisticated and unflaggingly interesting, not to mention tuneful and breezily ruminative in nature. While, of course, Debussy haunts the proceedings, I kept thinking of a more sedate version of Ibert as a model. But in many ways, this music transcends either of those folks, and I found every moment quite enjoyable. I need not mention that both Gallois and Raasakka play like the champs they are, and the orchestra is superb.

We get to hear more of the orchestra alone in Alleys in Twilight , a piece that is the first written by the composer for orchestra, and reflects the impressions of a journey through the Trastevere alleys in Rome, winding and branching and leading the traveler to places unforeseen, yet familiar. This piece is airy and full of light, fleeting and delicate, a presage of things to come for this composer.

I cannot imagine anyone who would be less than enthralled by this music.

FANFARE: Steven E. Ritter
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Flute "Palomar" by Kai Nieminen
Performer:  Patrick Gallois (Flute)
Conductor:  Patrick Gallois
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jyväskylä Sinfonia
Written: 2001 
Concerto for Clarinet "Through shadows I can hear ancient voices" by Kai Nieminen
Performer:  Mikko Raasakka (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Patrick Gallois
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jyväskylä Sinfonia
Written: 2002 
Vicoli in ombra by Kai Nieminen
Conductor:  Patrick Gallois
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jyväskylä Sinfonia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1995 

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