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These works are both presented here in their world première recording
Einojuhani Rautavaara is recognized as one of the most notable Finnish composers after Jean Sibelius. His recordings on Ondine have been bestsellers and garnered numerous awards (including a 1997 Grammy nomination for Angel of Light).
This new recording features the mystical composer’s latest orchestral works, two poignant testimonies of a mature artistic, spiritual and human personality.
The uplifting orchestral work Before the Icons (2005) is based on the earlier piano cycle Icons (1955) and therefore spans over Rautavaara’s entire career. The work drew its inspiration from a book of Orthodox icons.
Rautavaara wrote A Tapestry of Life in 2007 after an almost miraculous recovery from an acute illness. “Few contemporary composers are as skilled (…) in using tonality without compromise,” wrote the New Zealand Herald, upon its premiere.
Leif Segerstam and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra build on their long-time pedigrees of performing their compatriot’s music.
Einojuhani Rautavaara: Before the Icons
Einojuhani Rautavaara: A Tapestry of Life
“Rautavaara's musical voice remains fully audible although British listeners may hear resonances in places of Vaughan Williams-like modality.”
“The music still retains something of a 1950s feeling...Segerstam and the excellent Helsinki players provide appropriately atmospheric support...there's no doubt about the beauty of the soundworlds [Rautavaara] creates”