Author Topic: The Kokkonen Borealis  (Read 6435 times)

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snyprrr

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The Kokkonen Borealis
« on: July 01, 2013, 09:04:14 AM »
Leaving with Symphonies 3-4 under Berglund (Ondine). Report!! 8)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 05:28:17 PM by snyprrr »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Kokkonen Under Construction
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2013, 03:42:09 AM »
I really like No 4 - a gritty, uncompromising, powerful score of great integrity.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

snyprrr

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Re: Kokkonen Under Construction
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 06:56:41 AM »
I really like No 4 - a gritty, uncompromising, powerful score of great integrity.

I didn't get listening in yet, but, I was looking, and saw that Kokkonen was sitting over there with a gaggle on dark works waiting to be heard. Anyone have any recommends?

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Kokkonen's Kleptocracy
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 04:25:26 PM »
Interestingly enough a few weeks I listened to several of Kokkonen's orchestral works: Symphonies 1-4 and the Cello Concerto (all on BIS). I have to say that the music didn't do much for me. I understand Kokkonen was one of the first Finnish composers to forge a unique style early on based on serialism but, to be honest, I was left wondering 'where's the meat and potatoes' in this music? There's a lot of atonal music I enjoy, but I just couldn't find anything worth savoring in Kokkonen's music, but this just IMHO.
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Offline lescamil

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Re: Kokkonen's Kleptocracy
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2013, 09:20:13 PM »
Here's something that is reportedly one of Kokkonen's most performed and accessible works:

http://www.classiclive.com/Concerts/2013/May/Kokkonen-Interludes-from-The-Last-Temptations

Pretty enjoyable music. I should go back to his Requiem. Been a while since I've heard anything by him.
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Re: Kokkonen's Kleptocracy
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2013, 05:40:28 AM »
I only know his work from a Finlandia Meet the Composer duo - the Cello Concerto and Symphony #3 have not got my juices flowing, but a later work (1977) "...durch einen Spiegel..." decidedly does, very enigmatic and foreboding, with beautiful string textures punctuated by sibylline harpsichord comments. Sort of Bergmanesque, with its biblical title: "Now we see in a glass darkly (Latin: in aenigmate), but then face to face".
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It needs to return to this one note,
not a tune and not a key
but the sound of self it must depart from,
a journey lengthily to go
in a vein it knows will cripple it.
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Peter Porter

snyprrr

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Re: Kokkonen's Kleptocracy
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2013, 05:43:26 AM »
Interestingly enough a few weeks I listened to several of Kokkonen's orchestral works: Symphonies 1-4 and the Cello Concerto (all on BIS). I have to say that the music didn't do much for me. I understand Kokkonen was one of the first Finnish composers to forge a unique style early on based on serialism but, to be honest, I was left wondering 'where's the meat and potatoes' in this music? There's a lot of atonal music I enjoy, but I just couldn't find anything worth savoring in Kokkonen's music, but this just IMHO.

I was mistaken in the OP: I have Symphonies 1 & 4 by Berglund (Ondine). Well, they were muuuch less moody than I had remembered, though, Kokkonen has a wonderfully 'dark cloudy skies' schtick I kind of like. I was a bit underwhelmed though. I think I liked No.1 (1959-60) better. I still wouldn't mind hearing 2 and 3, but my enthusiasm has been tempered a bit. I mean, didn't Norgard also have his First Symphony around the late-'50s?; why shouldn't I just pass by Kokkonen to Norgard?

I think I prematurely gave JK his own Thread. :(

snyprrr

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Re: Kokkonen's Kleptocracy
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2014, 06:45:01 AM »
I was mistaken in the OP: I have Symphonies 1 & 4 by Berglund (Ondine). Well, they were muuuch less moody than I had remembered, though, Kokkonen has a wonderfully 'dark cloudy skies' schtick I kind of like. I was a bit underwhelmed though. I think I liked No.1 (1959-60) better. I still wouldn't mind hearing 2 and 3, but my enthusiasm has been tempered a bit. I mean, didn't Norgard also have his First Symphony around the late-'50s?; why shouldn't I just pass by Kokkonen to Norgard?

I think I prematurely gave JK his own Thread. :(

Haha, well, I'm feeling a little better about Kokkonen this year!

I picked up Oramo's Symphonies 3-4/Cello Concerto (Ondine) and was enjoying all of it, especially the 3rd (haven't yet compared with Berglund, but have ordered Berglund's 3rd (Finlandia)). I don't know what I was underwhelmed by, but, they say the 4th is his Masterpiece, but I liked the tinkling atmosphere of the 3rd just as well.

The 1969 Cello Concerto (along with Sallinen's 1971) may be the finest CC of that era (barring the few obvious, DSCH, Britten...) with a very odd, 'poisoned garden' type of writing that had me thinking BA Zimmermann? I felt that I needed to get the Noras to compare- it's hard to believe we have three recordings (including BIS) of such a rare piece. Anyhow, I find Kokkonen a nice alternative to my current DSCH mania!

I might go with Berglund for beginners. The BIS Cycle can be gotten for cheap; Oramo's Cycle boasts modern Ondine sound (as does Berglund's Ondine) and contains a second disc including Symphonies 1-2 (the more Serialist ones; with 'Opus Sonorum')). And there's a Requiem.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2014, 11:52:01 AM »
So far I enjoy Kokkonen more than Norgard. His 4th Symphony remains my favourite.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Offline EigenUser

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Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2014, 03:51:10 PM »
I'm listening to his Requiem right now. It's pretty good, but it makes me want to listen to Faure's.

snyprrr, what is wrong with you?! How did you miss the obvious thread title??

Cuckoo for Kokkonen
Kuckoo for Kokkonen might work better.
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

Offline 71 dB

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Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2014, 07:55:30 PM »

snyprrr, what is wrong with you?! How did you miss the obvious thread title??
Cuckoo for Kokkonen

Well, 'kukko' is cuckoo in Finnish and 'kokko' means Midsummer bonfire. So, Kokkonen's bonfire would be "correct".  :)
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Offline North Star

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Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2014, 09:14:14 PM »
Well, 'kukko' is cuckoo in Finnish and 'kokko' means Midsummer bonfire. So, Kokkonen's bonfire would be "correct".  :)
Cuckoo is 'käki' in Finnish, of course, and 'kukko' is a rooster in English.
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Offline EigenUser

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Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2014, 12:27:57 AM »
Well, 'kukko' is cuckoo in Finnish and 'kokko' means Midsummer bonfire. So, Kokkonen's bonfire would be "correct".  :)

Cuckoo is 'käki' in Finnish, of course, and 'kukko' is a rooster in English.

Okay, I forgot that Cocoa Puffs cereal probably doesn't exist in many parts of the world, much less the famous childrens' commercial where a character exclaims "I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!"
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

snyprrr

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Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2014, 11:01:05 AM »
I'm listening to his Requiem right now. It's pretty good, but it makes me want to listen to Faure's.

snyprrr, what is wrong with you?! How did you miss the obvious thread title??

Cuckoo for Kokkonen
Kuckoo for Kokkonen might work better.

Yes, yes- it waaas my first choice, but... I just didn't want to do that to poor Jukka Joonas. You'll see we've already gone through few. If you can come up with some AWESOME, I'll certainly change it! ;) (btw- it was' KooKoo for kokkonen')

'Cacao for Kokkonen'

'Caocao for Kokkonen'

Kreplach for Kookonen'

'Kokkonen's Cauldren'

'Kokkonen's Krakatoa' (another rejected)

'Kokkonen's Konstant Kraving'

'Fuckin' Kokkonen, Maaan!'

'Kokkonen Rocks'

'Kokkonen's Cataclysm'

(I wonder if it's safe to go back to the 'Meltdown' Thread?) :laugh:

snyprrr

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Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2014, 11:09:26 AM »
Really, we almost have 3 Cycles of Symphonies. The two on Ondine are both superbly recorded (in House Style); I don't know the BIS, but you know their sound is usually quite big and expansive (sometimes bordering on the 'too much'), so I don't know if that will help or hurt detail; and, the layout is kind of sprawling.

Either the Berglund/Ondine, or the Sakari/Ondine recordings of Symphony No.4 should probably be the way to go. With Sakari you also get S3 and the Cello Concerto (an absolutely great programme) and with Berglund you get S1 and the wonderful piece for Harpsichord and Strings, '...durch einem spiegel...'. Whether you choose the CC or this piece, you'll probably want to end up getting both.

Berglund's Finlandia recording of S3 is much darker than Sakari's, along also with the CC, so, his vision is a great compafre to the more extrovert and 'pleasing' Sakari.


I also have the early Piano Quintet, which deals in the same shifting 4ths and 5ths, the expectant atmosphere, the early Serialism. (Symphonies 1-2 are from the earlier Serial Phase- the later works have more of the stamp of an Individual).

Offline 71 dB

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Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2014, 11:33:38 AM »
Cuckoo is 'käki' in Finnish, of course, and 'kukko' is a rooster in English.

Damn, I should not post early in the morning! Cock-a-doodle-doo!  ;D

About Kokkonen: I don't think I have ever heard anything by him. I'm not that interested of Finnish composer.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 11:35:25 AM by 71 dB »
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Offline EigenUser

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Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2014, 04:05:18 PM »
Yes, yes- it waaas my first choice, but... I just didn't want to do that to poor Jukka Joonas. You'll see we've already gone through few. If you can come up with some AWESOME, I'll certainly change it! ;) (btw- it was' KooKoo for kokkonen')

'Cacao for Kokkonen'

'Caocao for Kokkonen'

Kreplach for Kookonen'

'Kokkonen's Cauldren'

'Kokkonen's Krakatoa' (another rejected)

'Kokkonen's Konstant Kraving'

'Fuckin' Kokkonen, Maaan!'

'Kokkonen Rocks'

'Kokkonen's Cataclysm'

(I wonder if it's safe to go back to the 'Meltdown' Thread?) :laugh:
How about A Hot Cup of Kokkonen?

I liked the Requiem. The Sanctus was great.

Still, my favorite discussion on thread titles is the one at the beginning of the Nyman thread. :laugh:
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

kishnevi

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Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2014, 04:20:55 PM »

Still, my favorite discussion on thread titles is the one at the beginning of the Nyman thread. :laugh:

Goes to look.
Shudders.
Snyps outdid himself there.  Good thing for divine intervention,  or I could never think of Nyman again withou that title.....

snyprrr

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Re: Kaffe med Kokkonen... Kram?
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2014, 12:31:56 PM »
eh?

Offline EigenUser

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Re: Kaffe med Kokkonen... Kram?
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2014, 01:39:24 AM »
eh?
meh... :-\

Kokkonen's Konundrum?

Kuckoo for Kokkonen is still the elephant in the room, though.
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".