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Einojuhani Rautavaara: Etydit (Etudes), Op. 42
Einojuhani Rautavaara: Ikonit (Icons), Op. 6
Jumalanaidin kuolema (The Death of the Mother of God)
Kaksi maalaipyhimysta (Two Village Saints)
Blakernajan musta Jumalanaiti (The Black Madonna of Blakernaya)
Kristuksen kaste (The Baptism of Christ)
Pyhat naiset haudalla (The Holy Women at the Sepulchre)
Arkkienkeli Mikael kukistaa Antikristuksen (Archangel Michael Defeats the Antichrist)
Einojuhani Rautavaara: Preludes, Op. 7
1. Kimmoisasti vasaroiden (Elastically Hammering)
2. Kyllin hitaasti (Slowly Enough)
3. Hermostuneesti mutta rytmissa (Nervously But in Rhythm)
4. Koraali ja muunnelma (Chorale and Variation)
6. Varisten (Shivering)
7. Alla finale
Einojuhani Rautavaara: Partita, Op. 34 (arr. for piano)
Einojuhani Rautavaara: Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 50, "Christus und die Fischer"
Einojuhani Rautavaara: Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 64, "The Fire Sermon"
I. Motlo allegretto
II. Andante assai
III. Allegro brutale
“The most interesting aspect of hearing piano music by a composer known primarily for his orchestral work is in spotting those inimitable harmonic fingerprints that help define his musical personality. Rautavaara's piano music is full of tell-tale signs, even in an early work like the Op 7 Preludes, where he indulged a sort of clandestine protest against the 'neo-classical' confines he experienced in Helsinki and America. Rautavaara was studying with Copland at the time but chose to keep his Preludes to himself. And yet it's Copland's Piano Sonata that spontaneously comes to mind during the austere opening of his 'The Black Madonna of Blakernaya' from Icons, perhaps the most striking of all his solo piano works. The translucent colours in 'The Baptism of Christ' make a profound effect, as does the serenity of 'The Holy Women at the Sepulchre'. Aspects of 'angels' seem prophetically prevalent – whether consciously or not – in the Etudes of 1969. Each piece tackles a different interval: thirds in the first, sevenths in the second, then tritones, fourths, seconds and fifths. The third is reminiscent of Messiaen, and the fifth of Bartók, but Rautavaara's guiding hand is everywhere in evidence. Spirituality is an invariable presence, especially in the two piano sonatas, though the Second ends with an unexpected bout of contrapuntal brutality. Perhaps the most instantly appealing track is the brief but touching central movement of the three-and-a-half minute Partita, Op 34, with its gentle whiffs of Bartók. Laura Mikkola plays all 28 movements with obvious conviction. Naxos's recorded sound is excellent.”
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