Author Topic: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)  (Read 34300 times)

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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2008, 02:42:52 PM »
I, however, did  :D - and I even used to wear them, as a youth, when they were the most practical footwear imaginable, in that specific context. (However, a colleague who used to stumble around with them in an Amsterdam university, history department, 9th floor, was generally conceived to behave somewhat weird ... )  :)

Ah... Yes, the Free University - the English department where I studied (for a very short time) was one floor up...
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2008, 01:57:24 PM »
Neither have I any clogs...  ;)

Yes, but I bet you eat lots of Edam cheese  ;D

Must try those Aho symphonies now.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2008, 02:47:57 PM »
Yes, but I bet you eat lots of Edam cheese.

By the carload.

 0:)  ;D
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline marvin

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2008, 09:23:25 AM »
Hello all!

Just wanted to let you all know that the brand new recording of Aho's Symphony No. 12 "Luosto" will be broadcast on "Classical Discoveries" on Wednesday morning, June 11 at 10:00 am (Eastern time).  The broadcast can be listened on line at http://www.wprb.com
The Classical Discoveries website address is http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org
A very exciting work!!

Best,
Marvin

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2008, 10:43:16 AM »
Am listening to Aho Symphony 4. My first encounter with this composer. An extraordinary gripping work; clearly some influence of Shostakovich. Will probably take a few listens to get my head round it.

A section of the second movement sounds like it's straight out of George Antheil's 4th Symphony!
« Last Edit: June 14, 2008, 10:58:29 AM by vandermolen »
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2008, 04:56:19 PM »
Am listening to Aho Symphony 4. My first encounter with this composer. An extraordinary gripping work; clearly some influence of Shostakovich. Will probably take a few listens to get my head round it.

A section of the second movement sounds like it's straight out of George Antheil's 4th Symphony!

I am delighted that you are giving Aho a go-so to speak! No.4 is indeed extraordinarily gripping. I am sure that it will reward future listens, Jeffrey!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2008, 10:18:42 PM »
I am delighted that you are giving Aho a go-so to speak! No.4 is indeed extraordinarily gripping. I am sure that it will reward future listens, Jeffrey!

Thanks Colin, it is an extraordinary work and I already want to listen to it again. Some clear influences including DS and Antheil but it is also not like anything else either. I can't afford all the symphs, so after No 4 what would be your next recommendation?

Jeffrey
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2008, 11:49:10 PM »
I downloaded Aho's 8th for organ and orchestra a few months ago. I think I'll have a listen...

Later: the work sounds like Rautavaara's 7th, but much wilder for most of its length. Though the last 10 minutes or so are as ethereal as anything Rautavaara can come up with. The work has great atmosphere. I'll have to listen to it again to understand its structure, though: it's in one movement and 50 minutes long.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2008, 12:39:40 AM by Jezetha »
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2008, 01:25:43 PM »
Thanks Colin, it is an extraordinary work and I already want to listen to it again. Some clear influences including DS and Antheil but it is also not like anything else either. I can't afford all the symphs, so after No 4 what would be your next recommendation?

Jeffrey

I think that the Symphony No.10 is a masterpiece-it has the most beautiful and moving slow movement-but it is more 'advanced' in idiom('wilder' in Johan's terminology). Perhaps, therefore, I would suggest Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2. They were written when Aho was 20 and 21 years old and the composer was obviously still finding his feet but in both there is a clear sense of purpose and forward movement. The first and fourth movements of the 1st are fugues and the 2nd is entirely a triple fugue in one movement. Aho's explanation is worth quoting as an indication of his musical thinking-

"One(factor in his decision to use a fugue in a symphonic context) was a reaction against the developmental trends in the modern music of the 1960s. Tonality had broken down, melody had become a taboo subject, and musical form had become so fragmented that the formal logic of modern compositions was often very difficult to follow. In consequence an abyss opened up between the concert-going public and modern music. Modern music was displaced beyond the realms of normal concert activity; it came to occupy its own ghetto. The fugue form, which had already been pronounced dead, seemed to offer one possible solution-one well worth exploring-to the problem of reconciling the form of modern music and the reception it was accorded. This solution was to remain close to the traditional stereotype without hiding the structure at an unfathomably deep level."

These sentiments are 'music' to my ears. A contemporary composer seeking to communicate with his audience but without lapsing into either neo-romanticism or minimalism(not that I dislike either of these necessarily!),

I am extremely pleased that you rate the 4th symphony as "extraordinary"(obviously using the word in a complimentary sense) and hope that-in time-you will be able to explore more of the work of a composer I certainly have come to esteem.

Offline Est.1965

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2008, 04:21:40 AM »
You cruel lot. >:(
This thread is so interesting on a composer I've never heard of that I'm going to have buy some. >:(
Dear Hans Rott
In the 1980s there was a creative punk group called "Big Audio Dynamite".  I have decided to apply the term to you, my man.  And I still haven't properly finished your Screenplay yet.  Too bad.  Take care anyway old chum, I'm off to listen to Brahms!
Kind regards, John

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2008, 04:40:15 AM »
You cruel lot. >:(
This thread is so interesting on a composer I've never heard of that I'm going to have buy some. >:(

Why are you  >:( ?

Go on...give Aho a try! I am sure that you will like him :)

Offline Est.1965

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2008, 04:48:11 AM »
Why are you  >:( ?

Go on...give Aho a try! I am sure that you will like him :)

I am certain I will like him too Dundonnell.  It's my walet that dislikes being part of this forum. :P   Can't wait to get some, the eclassical link below will help!
Dear Hans Rott
In the 1980s there was a creative punk group called "Big Audio Dynamite".  I have decided to apply the term to you, my man.  And I still haven't properly finished your Screenplay yet.  Too bad.  Take care anyway old chum, I'm off to listen to Brahms!
Kind regards, John

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2008, 04:58:10 AM »
I am certain I will like him too Dundonnell.  It's my walet that dislikes being part of this forum. :P   Can't wait to get some, the eclassical link below will help!

Yep, my bank balance is suffering too! I think that I am addicted to buying CDs-particularly of composers whose music I have recently discovered. I went through a phase of buying different versions of the same piece(usually one of the great/famous symphonies) but I can't afford to do that AND buy new music. Unfortunately, this does mean that I have a lot of obscure stuff to which I don't return! Never mind-there are worse ways to spend one's money :)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2008, 11:20:20 PM »
Yep, my bank balance is suffering too! I think that I am addicted to buying CDs-particularly of composers whose music I have recently discovered. I went through a phase of buying different versions of the same piece(usually one of the great/famous symphonies) but I can't afford to do that AND buy new music. Unfortunately, this does mean that I have a lot of obscure stuff to which I don't return! Never mind-there are worse ways to spend one's money :)

Yes, I'm in the same boat here, with 20 copies of Walton's First Symphony etc  :o
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2008, 11:39:12 PM »
Yes, I'm in the same boat here, with 20 copies of Walton's First Symphony etc  :o

Which is your favourite, Jeffrey? I love Walton's First, but I have noticed it is a special work that needs the right conductor to really bring it off. He has to match the intensity the music possesses.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Est.1965

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2008, 04:17:14 AM »
Ok, not so hard on my wee pennys this time, 7.99.  I have just bought it and am now going to listen to it - the seventh, 'Symphony of the Insects' sounds right up my street (a childhood thing) and I'm looking forward to it.  Will report back later.
Dear Hans Rott
In the 1980s there was a creative punk group called "Big Audio Dynamite".  I have decided to apply the term to you, my man.  And I still haven't properly finished your Screenplay yet.  Too bad.  Take care anyway old chum, I'm off to listen to Brahms!
Kind regards, John

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2008, 10:45:53 AM »
I think that the Symphony No.10 is a masterpiece-it has the most beautiful and moving slow movement-but it is more 'advanced' in idiom('wilder' in Johan's terminology). Perhaps, therefore, I would suggest Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2. They were written when Aho was 20 and 21 years old and the composer was obviously still finding his feet but in both there is a clear sense of purpose and forward movement. The first and fourth movements of the 1st are fugues and the 2nd is entirely a triple fugue in one movement. Aho's explanation is worth quoting as an indication of his musical thinking-

"One(factor in his decision to use a fugue in a symphonic context) was a reaction against the developmental trends in the modern music of the 1960s. Tonality had broken down, melody had become a taboo subject, and musical form had become so fragmented that the formal logic of modern compositions was often very difficult to follow. In consequence an abyss opened up between the concert-going public and modern music. Modern music was displaced beyond the realms of normal concert activity; it came to occupy its own ghetto. The fugue form, which had already been pronounced dead, seemed to offer one possible solution-one well worth exploring-to the problem of reconciling the form of modern music and the reception it was accorded. This solution was to remain close to the traditional stereotype without hiding the structure at an unfathomably deep level."

These sentiments are 'music' to my ears. A contemporary composer seeking to communicate with his audience but without lapsing into either neo-romanticism or minimalism(not that I dislike either of these necessarily!),

I am extremely pleased that you rate the 4th symphony as "extraordinary"(obviously using the word in a complimentary sense) and hope that-in time-you will be able to explore more of the work of a composer I certainly have come to esteem.

Thanks v much Colin for introducing me to the music of Aho. I have already lent Symphony No 4 to a CD nutter friend/colleague, who has already played it through twice in a row. No 1 or 2 or 10 next I think  :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #37 on: June 18, 2008, 10:52:56 AM »
Which is your favourite, Jeffrey? I love Walton's First, but I have noticed it is a special work that needs the right conductor to really bring it off. He has to match the intensity the music possesses.

My opinion keeps changing Johan but the famous Previn version is not one of my favourite recordings as I think that it lacks mystery at the start, which is my crucial test:

My favourites are Boult (Pye/Dutton version not BBC Radio Classics)but it has a poor recording quality. I like the Sargent (unavailable), Thomson on Chandos is excellent, Haitink on EMI a worthwhile unidiomatic version. I prefer the later Previn RPO, which is more epic than the more famous recording. Mackerras (EMI/CFP) is very good as is Ashkenazy on Decca. For budget versions, Adrian Leaper, with the unlikely Orchestra of Grand Canary (Arte Nova) is very good indeed. Handley (EMI with Hindemith Variations) is v good.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #38 on: June 18, 2008, 12:31:36 PM »
My opinion keeps changing Johan but the famous Previn version is not one of my favourite recordings as I think that it lacks mystery at the start, which is my crucial test:

My favourites are Boult (Pye/Dutton version not BBC Radio Classics)but it has a poor recording quality. I like the Sargent (unavailable), Thomson on Chandos is excellent, Haitink on EMI a worthwhile unidiomatic version. I prefer the later Previn RPO, which is more epic than the more famous recording. Mackerras (EMI/CFP) is very good as is Ashkenazy on Decca. For budget versions, Adrian Leaper, with the unlikely Orchestra of Grand Canary (Arte Nova) is very good indeed. Handley (EMI with Hindemith Variations) is v good.

Excellent survey, Jeffrey! Thanks!
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Est.1965

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Re: Kalevi Aho(born 1949)
« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2008, 12:47:30 PM »
The Insect Symphony has set my kilt on fire.  :P
As has been said, it is not a bona fide Symphony (not following traditional Symphonic structure), but more of a suite.  I love the Dung beetles grieving over some stolen dung, and the fantastic foxtrot and tango of the butterfly...I just love this sort of thing.  Of course, on listening I am seeing a number of dung beetles observing and investigating a patch of dung which they once had delight in and planned to delight in again, except this time its gone, and the orchestral forces are smelling that lost love up for them as they scratch and scramble around the stolen dung patch, filled with suspicion and each one a possible suspect.  (Probably nothing like what Aho had in mind with his 'Dung beetles grieving over some stolen dung', but this is what the music 'does' to me.) ;D
'The Ants' is busy as hell, fine marching, just as I see them.
It looks like my next buy will be No 10.  I still haven't listened to number 2 though. :-[
Dear Hans Rott
In the 1980s there was a creative punk group called "Big Audio Dynamite".  I have decided to apply the term to you, my man.  And I still haven't properly finished your Screenplay yet.  Too bad.  Take care anyway old chum, I'm off to listen to Brahms!
Kind regards, John