Author Topic: Rautavaara's Riverboat  (Read 68932 times)

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Offline nathanb

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #200 on: August 04, 2016, 05:53:54 AM »
As far as I know, with the release of Kaivos a few years back, Ondine has now made Rautavaara's complete opera output available on disc. There's even a DVD available of his television opera on O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi.

I still need to grab the DVD-only ones. Rasputin's been sitting in my amazon wishlist forever. Time to make that happen. What of Apollo Contra Marsyas?

I suppose, though, what Ondine really needs to do is pay more attention to his chamber music. You can find most of it through various other sources, but like I said, it's Rautavaara Complete Edition time!

snyprrr

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #201 on: August 04, 2016, 08:35:47 AM »
CDCDCD Alert!!


Reckoner

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #202 on: September 14, 2016, 02:21:34 AM »
We lost a supreme master, back in July. A sad loss.

But thankfully his music will endure. I've only been scratching the surface of his output in the last 18 months or so.

Symphony No. 7, Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto No. 1, Cantus, Vigilia are essential masterworks of his, imo.

And then there's a bunch of other works that I really enjoy.

A Giant of Beauty, indeed.


Offline Rons_talking

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #204 on: August 07, 2018, 02:50:01 AM »
Latest on ClassicsToday:



Latest on @ClassicsToday: Appreciating Einojuhani Rautavaara–Cello & Piano

https://www.classicstoday.com/review/appreciating-einojuhani-rautavaara-cello-piano/ …

@OndineRecords #TanjaTetzlaff #GunillaSüssmann


I'll have to check these out. it's sad to see no one's been on the Riverboat (unless there's another thread); his music is such a great example of engaging modernism.

Offline André

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #205 on: August 07, 2018, 04:31:41 AM »
I wasn’t aware of this thread’s existence  :-X

I still haven’t opened the 2 Ondine boxes of the symphonies and concertos. I have about half of their contents in separate discs or downloads (on cdr). They will now make up a nice rautavaaratheque in my collection. I’ll post comments here when I unwrap and start listening to the discs.  :)

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #206 on: August 09, 2018, 10:26:09 PM »

The concertos and symphonies are a great place to start. Happy listening!

Offline André

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #207 on: June 16, 2019, 11:23:24 AM »
I wasn’t aware of this thread’s existence  :-X

I still haven’t opened the 2 Ondine boxes of the symphonies and concertos. I have about half of their contents in separate discs or downloads (on cdr). They will now make up a nice rautavaaratheque in my collection. I’ll post comments here when I unwrap and start listening to the discs.  :)

Almost a year has passed ... ::)

I unwrapped the concertos set a few months ago, listened to them and enjoyed the whole lot. Now it’s the symphonies set’s turn.



Listened to 1 and 2. Good stuff, but no Athena emerging in full suit of armour from Zeus’ head. Not yet. The first movement of I is the most impressive. Rautavaara reworked his maiden effort twice, eventually adding a middle movement to the original 2-movement structure. That they don’t quite cohere as a symphony is not really a problem. The new movement - almost 50 years younger than the others (!) is very nice.

Symphony no 2 is more modest in scope, with 4 movements lasting 21 minutes. A good piece.

Athena comes forward hojotoho-ing in the rather extraordinary 3rd symphony. Besides the Max Pommer version I also have the Naxos version conducted by Hannu Lintu. I will give it a listen as well (like right now). Timings are practically identical in all 4 movements. This work would make a fantastic complement to a concert including the 3-movement Bruckner 9. Rautavaara wrote it in 1961 and cannot (?) have known the completed finale of the 9th, but he speaks the same language, with its quotes, near quotes (Romantic symphony, first movement), harmonic language and deconstructed phraseology given a time machine leap of some 65 years (1896-1961). Absolutely stunning.

The history behind the 4th symphony’s composition is a tortuous one. Originally written in 1964, Rautavaara withdrew it altogether and replaced it with an earlier piece titled Arabescata. That 1962 work was written in a strictly serial language, in total contrast to the late-romantic, proto-minimalist 3rd written just one year before. It’s as if Schönberg had written his op 31 Variations hard on the heels of Verklärte Nacht, a huge stylistic ellipse. Bezzarre, but good if one doesn’t listen to them in succession (they share the same disc, not a good idea IMO).

Online relm1

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #208 on: June 16, 2019, 03:24:07 PM »
Almost a year has passed ... ::)

I unwrapped the concertos set a few months ago, listened to them and enjoyed the whole lot. Now it’s the symphonies set’s turn.



Listened to 1 and 2. Good stuff, but no Athena emerging in full suit of armour from Zeus’ head. Not yet. The first movement of I is the most impressive. Rautavaara reworked his maiden effort twice, eventually adding a middle movement to the original 2-movement structure. That they don’t quite cohere as a symphony is not really a problem. The new movement - almost 50 years younger than the others (!) is very nice.

Symphony no 2 is more modest in scope, with 4 movements lasting 21 minutes. A good piece.

Athena comes forward hojotoho-ing in the rather extraordinary 3rd symphony. Besides the Max Pommer version I also have the Naxos version conducted by Hannu Lintu. I will give it a listen as well (like right now). Timings are practically identical in all 4 movements. This work would make a fantastic complement to a concert including the 3-movement Bruckner 9. Rautavaara wrote it in 1961 and cannot (?) have known the completed finale of the 9th, but he speaks the same language, with its quotes, near quotes (Romantic symphony, first movement), harmonic language and deconstructed phraseology given a time machine leap of some 65 years (1896-1961). Absolutely stunning.

The history behind the 4th symphony’s composition is a tortuous one. Originally written in 1964, Rautavaara withdrew it altogether and replaced it with an earlier piece titled Arabescata. That 1962 work was written in a strictly serial language, in total contrast to the late-romantic, proto-minimalist 3rd written just one year before. It’s as if Schönberg had written his op 31 Variations hard on the heels of Verklärte Nacht, a huge stylistic ellipse. Bezzarre, but good if one doesn’t listen to them in succession (they share the same disc, not a good idea IMO).

Fascinating observations.  I fully loved the traversal through Rautavaara's concerti and symphonies finding them all unique and a logical development from what proceeded even when decades were involved (such as the first symphony with its multiple movements).  A wonderful composer.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #209 on: June 17, 2019, 12:01:07 AM »
I enjoy much of his music, especially Symphony 7 'Angel of Light' and Symphony 8 'The Journey'.
"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).

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #210 on: June 17, 2019, 09:47:21 AM »
I love all the symphonies (No. 8 is my absolute favorite), except the 6th Vincentiana. It's rather diffuse and doesn't grab my attention. The only concertos I like by him are the ones for piano, the Ballad for harp and strings (that is amazing), and Cantus Arcticus. I feel the others too gray, even depressing.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #211 on: June 17, 2019, 09:51:18 AM »
I love all the symphonies (No. 8 is my absolute favorite), except the 6th Vincentiana. It's rather diffuse and doesn't grab my attention. The only concertos I like by him are the ones for piano, the Ballad for harp and strings (that is amazing), and Cantus Arcticus. I feel the others too gray, even depressing.
No.8 has the most wonderful opening measure, which I wish had been extended a bit longer.
"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).

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #212 on: June 17, 2019, 01:44:22 PM »
No.8 has the most wonderful opening measure, which I wish had been extended a bit longer.

A magical moment indeed. The ending is also impressive, quite visionary and a little cathartic.

Online relm1

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #213 on: June 17, 2019, 03:37:38 PM »
I love all the symphonies (No. 8 is my absolute favorite), except the 6th Vincentiana. It's rather diffuse and doesn't grab my attention. The only concertos I like by him are the ones for piano, the Ballad for harp and strings (that is amazing), and Cantus Arcticus. I feel the others too gray, even depressing.

Aw, man, you need to better hear No. 6.  It's amazing with its emphasis on texture at the expense of melody.  Still very strong strong and full of development but he's expanding what requires structure.  A wonderful work to experience.  Think of it like this.  You love sushi so you go to a fine restaurant but the chef says "trust me" and gives you stuff you don't quite like but is part of the meal's journey they expect you experience.  If you still don't like it, you have no business at a fine dining sushi restaurant. 
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 03:39:51 PM by relm1 »

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #214 on: June 17, 2019, 07:15:10 PM »
Aw, man, you need to better hear No. 6.  It's amazing with its emphasis on texture at the expense of melody.  Still very strong strong and full of development but he's expanding what requires structure.  A wonderful work to experience.  Think of it like this.  You love sushi so you go to a fine restaurant but the chef says "trust me" and gives you stuff you don't quite like but is part of the meal's journey they expect you experience.  If you still don't like it, you have no business at a fine dining sushi restaurant.

Then I'm gonna bear in mind your comparison next time I listen to it, with food in between it should work better  ;D :D

Offline kyjo

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #215 on: June 17, 2019, 07:55:00 PM »
I love all the symphonies (No. 8 is my absolute favorite), except the 6th Vincentiana. It's rather diffuse and doesn't grab my attention. The only concertos I like by him are the ones for piano, the Ballad for harp and strings (that is amazing), and Cantus Arcticus. I feel the others too gray, even depressing.

I mostly agree with you about the 6th- I don't like the extended passages featuring the synthesizer, though to counter those, there are some very ear-catching moments scattered throughout the work. But yes, it is too diffuse. I'm surprised you don't like the 1st Cello Concerto, a really powerful and accessible work IMO.

I just finished listening to his very fine neo-Brucknerian 3rd Symphony, complete with movement titles in German!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #216 on: June 17, 2019, 11:14:33 PM »
A magical moment indeed. The ending is also impressive, quite visionary and a little cathartic.

Yes, definitely and rather moving as is the work as a whole.
"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).

Online relm1

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #217 on: August 26, 2019, 03:29:18 PM »
Rautavaara is a wonderful composer, one of my favorite contemporary composers in fact but I think I put my finger on one of my personal criticisms of his late style.  Lack of tempo variation.  This feels dull to a listener in extended works.  When you compare his early works like the Symphony No. 3 or Angeles and Visitations, there is a wide range of tempo just like there is with dynamics.  In contrast, his Symphony No. 7 "Angel of Light", the first movement at 200 bars only has three tempo changes, that is very limited and characteristic of his later style.  To me, that is sort of like a mezzo-piano dynamic.  A very uninteresting dynamic especially for extended works.  I think his music sounds best with more movement.  Don't get me wrong, I am happy to hear slowly developing works like "Cantus Acticus" but at their best, these works must perfectly sustain their duration.  Momentum needs to be balanced with revelation of novelty and familiarity.  Sibelius nailed it.  Early Rautavaara did too.  Later Rautavaara not as well. 

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #218 on: August 26, 2019, 04:54:43 PM »
More fans of Rauvataara here. I should know more this composer, nevertheless, though I'm sort of familiar with his creations. As a fan of symphonies as I am, the 8th 'The Journey' is breathtaking. Maybe his best effort in the form, who knows! His themes are visionary in an organic growth, leading to serenely epic catharsis. The 'Ballad for harp and string orchestra' is worth listening.

As for the harmony of what his style intends, is slightly adventurous without falling into modernistic excesses, hence his voice sounds both conventional and advanced at the same time. I often feel he's visceral, he wants to express joy and anger, and unique atmospheres are his speciality.

Sibelius is easily hearable, but through the Rautavaara's prism. Finland is present on him.

What other works do you suggest other than symphonies or concertos? Other miscellaneous works, chamber pieces, choral ones, etc. I'm listening to 'Book of Visions' right now ('A Tale of Nights' just ended). Very cool thus far, catches the ear easily.

Online relm1

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Re: Rautavaara's Riverboat
« Reply #219 on: August 27, 2019, 05:09:20 AM »
I love his chamber music.  There is a disk from ondine that I think has two string quartets and a string quintet that is lovely (going off memory) but features much of what you like in his larger works, just more intimate and more immediate.  I am not so familiar with his operas but am curious about them.  The only opera of his I have is "The Mine" and don't remember it.

I always felt that Rautavaara had similarities with Sibelius but come to think of it, I really can't think of much similarity at all or why I ever thought that.   Maybe in how they merge mystic elements of nature and mythology in their music.