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Nordgren: Rock Score, Etc / Juha Kangas, Marko Ylönen

Release Date: 06/28/2005 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1356   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Pehr Henrik Nordgren
Performer:  Marko Ylönen
Conductor:  Juha Kangas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Pehr Henrik Nordgren's music almost always adopts a tone of high seriousness, even tragedy, which makes it less than "fun" in the conventional sense, though it is often very beautiful. His characterful combination of folk music, tonal and highly dissonant elements, and modern playing techniques has been effectively synthesized into a personal language of considerable power and resourcefulness. At the same time, his work with the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra has given him a special understanding of the timbral possibilities of the string orchestra, as demonstrated by the three works included here.

Rock Score was composed for the opening of the lovely hillside concert hall at Kaustinen. Its luminous textures
Read more and folk music allusions make for a singularly haunting 12 minutes. The First Cello Concerto has an unusual form: two preludes, one slow the other fast, followed by a lengthy and meditative finale. It's a tougher piece than Rock Score, but Nordgren's imaginative feeling for texture and melodic fluency give it real cogency and a substantial emotional punch. As the name suggests, Transe-Choral (the title is French) has two movements, the first of which is terrifying ("transe" means "dread"), while the ensuing choral starts with chant-like gestures before opening into sonorous tonal harmony.

This is not music that you will want to hear all at once. It's not just the tone of high seriousness that suggests taking it in doses: even the quick music has a certain deliberateness about it, and Nordgren's larger structures never seem in a hurry to unfold. Choral, for example, lasts nearly 20 minutes and asks for concentrated attention from its listeners, but unlike so much contemporary stuff, if you stick with it you will get your money back with interest. This tendency to sameness of mood and timbre (perhaps "subtle variety" is the better term) is my only reservation about what otherwise is a very impressive release. Take your time, live with the music a bit, and that problem is solved. The performances, by Nordgren's "own" Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, are simply ideal in all respects, as is the engineering. [8/4/2006]
--David Hurwitz, Read less

Works on This Recording

Rock Score, Op. 100 by Pehr Henrik Nordgren
Conductor:  Juha Kangas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1997; Finland 
Length: 12 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Concerto for Cello no 1, Op. 50 by Pehr Henrik Nordgren
Performer:  Marko Ylönen (Cello)
Conductor:  Juha Kangas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1980; Finland 
Length: 23 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Transe-Choral, Op. 67 by Pehr Henrik Nordgren
Conductor:  Juha Kangas
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1985; Finland 
Length: 30 Minutes 13 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Rock Score, Op. 100
Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 50: I. Prelude I: Adagio
Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 50: II. Prelude II: Allegro
Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 50: III. Hymn: Andante
Transe-Choral, Op. 67: I. Transe (Dead)
Transe-Choral, Op. 67: II. Choral (Chorale)

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