Author Topic: Kimmo Hakola (b. 1958)  (Read 4188 times)

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Offline Brewski

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Kimmo Hakola (b. 1958)
« on: April 12, 2007, 12:46:07 PM »
Last year a friend played me the Clarinet Concerto by Kimmo Hakola, with Kari Kriikku as the soloist (an amazing clarinetist).  It veers between jazz, noise, strange honking sounds and a Klezmer band, just to give you a vague idea of Hakola's omnivorous taste.  Here is the recording (with its groovy cover):



In a few weeks I'm hearing a concert of his music at Miller Theatre here, by Present Music, a Milwaukee-based new music group that commissioned the Chamber Concerto being performed on the concert.

Present Music
Kevin Stalheim, conductor

Chamber Concerto
Theme, Eleven Etudes, and a Grand Cadenza
Capriole
Arara Zagrara


From Miller Theatre's website:

Kimmo Hakola (b. 1958) is one of the most exciting Finnish composers on the scene today.  In its Miller Theatre debut, Present Music — the new music ensemble that commissioned his Chamber Concerto — brings to life Hakola’s intense and chaotic musical world.  Don’t miss the first chance to experience the alternatingly manic and somber music of this exciting composer, receiving its first large-scale exposure in New York.

And here is his page on the Finnish Music Information Centre's website:

Kimmo Hakola

--Bruce
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Offline Maciek

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Re: Kimmo Hakola (b. 1958)
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2007, 02:11:40 PM »
Thanks for this thread, Bruce. Never heard of the guy - will be glad to learn more and explore! :D

And I love Kari Kriikku! :o :D

Maciek

Symphonien

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Re: Kimmo Hakola (b. 1958)
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2007, 08:38:46 PM »
Sounds like a very interesting composer from your description there. I'll definitely be checking him out.

And enjoy the concert!

Offline Siedler

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Re: Kimmo Hakola (b. 1958)
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2007, 10:45:56 AM »
Oh, I still haven't borrowed that Clarinet Concerto recording from the library. I heard the last movement on radio some time ago - very exotic.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Kimmo Hakola (b. 1958)
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2007, 06:48:53 AM »
Hm.  I wish I'd enjoyed the Hakola concert last night more.  The first half had Arara Zagrara (1995-2002), a sort of "Louis Andriessen does klezmer" which was OK, but a bit too simple for my taste.  This was followed by a solo piano work, Theme, Elven Etudes, and a Grand Cadenza (1998) that just seemed long and tedious, and (unfortunately) begged comparison with Ligeti's Etudes -- no contest.

Best of the night was Capriole (1991) for bass and bass clarinet, an unusual combination, with lots of energy and many interesting sound effects for each.  The concert closed with the Chamber Concerto (2002), commissioned by Present Music, the Milwaukee-based group that performed everything so beautifully last night.  I liked it, but again it was just too long, a sentiment expressed by many in the audience about most of the pieces.  But the musicians were excellent.

So now I have to re-check my impressions of the Clarinet Concerto.  It could be that this turns out to be his best piece, and it was just luck that I heard it first.  Oh well, it happens...

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

kentel

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Re: Kimmo Hakola (b. 1958)
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2010, 01:59:29 PM »
Last year a friend played me the Clarinet Concerto by Kimmo Hakola, with Kari Kriikku as the soloist (an amazing clarinetist).  It veers between jazz, noise, strange honking sounds and a Klezmer band, just to give you a vague idea of Hakola's omnivorous taste.  Here is the recording (with its groovy cover):



--Bruce

I discovered this composer a few months ago, precisely with the same cd you mentionned above : I was enthralled by the wonderful sonorities of his Clarinet Concerto, with its meditative and colourful arabesques; I found the language both appealing and original.

Unfortunately, I got very disappointed with the other cds I heard afterwards, i.e these ones :




It is mostly brutal atonal stuff, very chaotic and overloaded with massive orchestral effects without substance. It's heavily influenced by Lindberg all in all, minus the genius of sonorities and of orchestral articulations. I remember his 1 hour long piano concerto as a uniform, aimless and very noisy thing; his 1st String Quartet is devoid of personality, I would only save the last 10mns of his Clarinet Quintet.

Thus I agree : his Clarinet Concerto may be his best work... even if his beautiful clarinet arabesques remind me of Bryar's The Green Ray in many ways.

--Gilles
« Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 10:38:10 PM by kentel »

Offline CRCulver

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Re: Kimmo Hakola (b. 1958)
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2010, 07:42:21 PM »
Here in Helsinki there was a Finnish RSO concert with two Hakola pieces a couple of months ago. I've already forgotten the title of the second piece (inspired by the ocean, rather forgettable), but the opening "KIMM" was a lot of fun. Hakola has gone back to the Baroque era to see what it might offer his music. Over a long, gorgeous chorale in the strings, brass and timpani occasionally rudely interrupt. It's all the zaniness of mid-period Schnittke without any of the angst. Hopefully Ondine will issue a recording soon.

Perhaps Hakola isn't all the great of a composer, but now that Magnus Lindberg has stagnated greatly, it's great that we have another composer picking up the slack and producing such energetic, happy modernist pieces.

snyprrr

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Re: Kimmo Hakola (b. 1958)
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2010, 05:46:42 PM »
I discovered this composer a few months ago, precisely with the same cd you mentionned above : I was enthralled by the wonderful sonorities of his Clarinet Concerto, with its meditative and colourful arabesques; I found the language both appealing and original.

Unfortunately, I got very disappointed with the other cds I heard afterwards, i.e these ones :




It is mostly brutal atonal stuff, very chaotic and overloaded with massive orchestral effects without substance. It's heavily influenced by Lindberg all in all, minus the genius of sonorities and of orchestral articulations. I remember his 1 hour long piano concerto as a uniform, aimless and very noisy thing; his 1st String Quartet is devoid of personality, I would only save the last 10mns of his Clarinet Quintet.

Thus I agree : his Clarinet Concerto may be his best work... even if his beautiful clarinet arabesques remind me of Bryar's The Green Ray in many ways.

--Gilles

I have the String Quartet shown above. I'll have to listen again, but I do believe it was better than the four minute Koskinen (b. 1965), who seems to be doing kindergarten Lachenmann. Heininen's 1974 SQ comes off as a rather long 25min with Bergian contours. What do you think of these other pieces (I'm not counting Kurtag)?

I also feel for you, for I'm sure we've all heard a great piece by a composer, only then to display a plethora of cds as you have just lain out, weeping at your foolish, adventurous heart (Gorecki, anyone???). When I saw your sacrifice,...oh, listen,...Ondine will record ANYTHING Nordic! Watch out. They have such beautiful cd covers that you think every cd could be a masterpiece, only to be,....aarrrgghhh >:D >:D >:D (Rautavaara, anyone??)

Actually, I just purchased an Ondine cd, The Frivolous Harpsichord, by my new current fav Nordic composer, Jukka Tiensuu. This is the third in a series of incredible Modern harpsichord readings (the first two were on Finlandia), of which there is...(checking)...NOT a piece by Hakola (thought I could save the digression!).

By the way, Hakola's quite the fatty, too!

Offline Maciek

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Re: Kimmo Hakola (b. 1958)
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2011, 12:23:05 PM »
Found this one while going through various old "unread replies" threads. Decided to see if there was anything on YouTube. Found an excerpt from the Kriiku recording. And realized... I know it! ;D ;D ;D Actually, I'm quite positive I did not know it yet back in April 2007. I believe I first heard it last year - but had completely forgotten about this thread by that time.

So now I'm wondering how seriously I should treat the advice against further exploration. Who knows - my own impressions might be different. What if it turns out to be something wonderful, otherworldly, exciting, exhilarating. Like amassing a big stack of Gorecki CDs! (Bought a new one two weeks ago, actually. And love it. ;D)

Offline lescamil

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Re: Kimmo Hakola (b. 1958)
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2011, 03:28:45 PM »
I'll be the different one here and say that I really liked Kimmo Hakola's Piano Concerto. As long as it is, I found it completely tongue-in-cheek and enjoyed much of what it had to offer. It is a thorny piece, but it isn't dissonant for the sake of being dissonant. The length of it is something that works against it, but it also isn't a work that benefits from "excerpting" either. You need to hear it all to get the full effect of it.
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snyprrr

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Re: Kimmo Hakola (b. 1958)
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2011, 09:30:06 AM »
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