GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: snyprrr on July 01, 2013, 09:04:14 AM

Title: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: snyprrr on July 01, 2013, 09:04:14 AM
Leaving with Symphonies 3-4 under Berglund (Ondine). Report!! 8)
Title: Re: Kokkonen Under Construction
Post by: vandermolen on July 02, 2013, 03:42:09 AM
I really like No 4 - a gritty, uncompromising, powerful score of great integrity.
Title: Re: Kokkonen Under Construction
Post by: snyprrr 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?
Title: Re: Kokkonen's Kleptocracy
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: Kokkonen's Kleptocracy
Post by: lescamil 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.
Title: Re: Kokkonen's Kleptocracy
Post by: mjwal 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".
Title: Re: Kokkonen's Kleptocracy
Post by: snyprrr 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. :(
Title: Re: Kokkonen's Kleptocracy
Post by: snyprrr 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.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on July 22, 2014, 11:52:01 AM
So far I enjoy Kokkonen more than Norgard. His 4th Symphony remains my favourite.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: EigenUser 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.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: 71 dB 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".  :)
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: North Star 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.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: EigenUser 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!"
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: snyprrr 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:
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: snyprrr 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).
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: 71 dB 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.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: EigenUser 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:
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: kishnevi 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.....
Title: Re: Kaffe med Kokkonen... Kram?
Post by: snyprrr on August 17, 2014, 12:31:56 PM
eh?
Title: Re: Kaffe med Kokkonen... Kram?
Post by: EigenUser on August 18, 2014, 01:39:24 AM
eh?
meh... :-\

Kokkonen's Konundrum?

Kuckoo for Kokkonen is still the elephant in the room, though.
Title: Re: Kuckoo for Kokkonen
Post by: snyprrr on January 17, 2015, 11:16:45 PM
I have been enjoying Symphonies 3-4, 3 being the darker, 4 the Final Masterpiece. Most like 4 better, but I like 3 very much too. Also, the Cello Concerto is one of the very best of the mid-century vehicles, with lots of busy mystery and hot house flower garden perfumes- it may not be Szymanowski per se, but it has a heady, yet clean whiff about it. Durch einem Spiegel, for harpsichord and strings, is also quite powerful, dark and compelling.

All mature Kokkonen will satisfy that Nordic impulse, there's no need waffling over Kokkonen. He delivers Sibelius+Hindemith like no one else.
Title: Re: Kuckoo for Kokkonen
Post by: vandermolen on January 18, 2015, 12:29:30 AM
I have been enjoying Symphonies 3-4, 3 being the darker, 4 the Final Masterpiece. Most like 4 better, but I like 3 very much too. Also, the Cello Concerto is one of the very best of the mid-century vehicles, with lots of busy mystery and hot house flower garden perfumes- it may not be Szymanowski per se, but it has a heady, yet clean whiff about it. Durch einem Spiegel, for harpsichord and strings, is also quite powerful, dark and compelling.

All mature Kokkonen will satisfy that Nordic impulse, there's no need waffling over Kokkonen. He delivers Sibelius+Hindemith like no one else.

Must listen to 3 again. Thanks for the recommendation. A while since I've listened to Kokkonen as have been focused a bit of Nordgren recently.
Title: Re: Kuckoo for Kokkonen
Post by: snyprrr on July 31, 2016, 06:24:01 AM
bump for Rautavaara...
Title: Re: Kokkonen's Krystal Kastle
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on July 31, 2016, 09:46:46 PM
Kokkonen is brilliant. Sometimes I like his music more than Rautavaara's, sometimes I like Rautavaara's more............but he's got the best requiem of the two composers by far.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on September 07, 2016, 01:04:05 PM
Been listening to Symphony 4 (1971) - a terrific, searching and eloquent score and IMHO Kokkonen's masterpiece. As the booklet note says by the time he composed this 'compared with the twelve-tone period represented by the First Symphony [which I also like], Kokkonen's range of sororities had softened and mellowed'. I believe that Kokkonen was a composer of great uncompromising integrity. I especially have grown to like works of a more 'demanding' type (for me anyway) which do not lose sight of the human contact with their audience - from an emotional as well as intellectual level. Norgard's and Blomdahl's First symphonies also come into this category as far as I'm concerned. Kokkonen is a composer whose music I initially did not relate to but have found increasingly rewarding. There is a gritty integrity about Symphony No.4 and I find the resolution both eloquent and moving:


Great title to this thread from snyprrr by the way!
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on September 07, 2016, 01:09:41 PM
'...durch einem Spiegel' is currently my favourite of his works
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on September 07, 2016, 01:12:50 PM
'...durch einem Spiegel' is currently my favourite of his works
Oh, it's on the same CD! Will listen after Symphony 4 finishes for the third time this evening!
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on September 07, 2016, 01:30:14 PM
Haha, enjoy! I had the pleasure of seeing it live conducted by Olli Mustonen in 2014. My first introduction to the music of Kokkonen.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on September 07, 2016, 01:36:26 PM
 Lucky you! It's a fine, unusual work and my attention was gripped throughout. The whole CD is an excellent introduction to Kokkonen.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: snyprrr on September 07, 2016, 02:45:54 PM
Lucky you! It's a fine, unusual work and my attention was gripped throughout. The whole CD is an excellent introduction to Kokkonen.

excellent!!


so surprised to see Kokkonen at the top... good for you van...


You could get the OTHER Ondine Symphonies, with Oramo, or get the nice set from BIS.


Yes, No.4 is so very good. I'm sure it's my fav post-Sibelius type work. And the Cello Concerto...


BUT, THERE'S NOT MUCH :(
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on September 07, 2016, 08:51:57 PM
Never heard of this guy, I'm listening to #4 right now!  :)

Let us know what you think of it.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on September 07, 2016, 08:54:02 PM
excellent!!


so surprised to see Kokkonen at the top... good for you van...


You could get the OTHER Ondine Symphonies, with Oramo, or get the nice set from BIS.


Yes, No.4 is so very good. I'm sure it's my fav post-Sibelius type work. And the Cello Concerto...


BUT, THERE'S NOT MUCH :(

I have several CDs of Kokkonen's music including, I think, three versions of Symphony 4. I'm appreciating the other symphonies too, especially No.1 at the moment. I agree with you about the importance of Symphony 4.
 :)
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on September 08, 2016, 11:19:36 AM
I'm listening to it for a second time, I'm really enjoying it.
The symphony disperses a variety of moods very effectively and dynamically. It gets really intense in areas and beautiful in others.
This is great, thanks to snyprrr!  ;D
Delighted to hear that you enjoy it - it is a great work.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on September 08, 2016, 11:23:16 AM
Been listening to Symphony 4 (1971) - a terrific, searching and eloquent score and IMHO Kokkonen's masterpiece. As the booklet note says by the time he composed this 'compared with the twelve-tone period represented by the First Symphony [which I also like], Kokkonen's range of sororities had softened and mellowed'. I believe that Kokkonen was a composer of great uncompromising integrity. I especially have grown to like works of a more 'demanding' type (for me anyway) which do not lose sight of the human contact with their audience - from an emotional as well as intellectual level. Norgard's and Blomdahl's First symphonies also come into this category as far as I'm concerned. Kokkonen is a composer whose music I initially did not relate to but have found increasingly rewarding. There is a gritty integrity about Symphony No.4 and I find the resolution both eloquent and moving:


Great title to this thread from snyprrr by the way!
Kokkonen is another one of those composers who 'look like' their music.  8)
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on October 10, 2018, 09:50:28 AM
Time for me to continue this interesting conversation (monologue) with myself  8)

I hadn't listened to any Kokkonen for a while but today I reaquainted myself with Symphony 4. I love its searching and visionary ending and the gritty and uncompromising nature of the work. He strikes me as a composer of great integrity. For me this is 'modern music' at its best.



I realise that I've repeated some of my earlier post but at least I'm consistent in my admiration. ;D
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: Christo on October 10, 2018, 10:34:16 AM
Time for me to continue this interesting conversation (monologue) with myself  8)
It is, twice.  ;D
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on October 10, 2018, 10:37:22 AM
I found this in my collection


Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on October 10, 2018, 10:59:05 AM
OMG!  :o
Some responses from members other than myself - thank you. You are my heroes.
Baron Scarpia (Ghost of) I'd be interested to hear your views of that Finlandia CD, especially Symphony 4 (if it's included in the set).
 :)
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: Christo on October 10, 2018, 11:12:16 AM
The Third is included, not the Fourth:
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2B9LIDvQ8L.jpg)
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on October 10, 2018, 11:20:47 AM
The Third is included, not the Fourth:
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2B9LIDvQ8L.jpg)
Oh thanks Johan  :)
I like No.3 but 4 remains my favourite.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: Christo on October 10, 2018, 11:27:29 AM
Oh thanks Johan  :)
I like No.3 but 4 remains my favourite.
Mine too, I guess we had very similar experiences when 'discovering' Kokkonen's symphonies; in my case in the 80s, thanks to BIS.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: SymphonicAddict on October 10, 2018, 11:49:07 AM
I read somewhere that his Cello Concerto is an uplifting work, but, as far as I remember, that word is far from the true nature of the piece. It's rather serious but has something appealing.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on October 10, 2018, 11:49:37 AM
Mine too, I guess we had very similar experiences when 'discovering' Kokkonen's symphonies; in my case in the 80s, thanks to BIS.
Yes, I think that's right.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on October 10, 2018, 11:52:02 AM
I read somewhere that his Cello Concerto is an uplifting work, but, as far as I remember, that word is far from the true nature of the piece. It's rather serious but has something appealing.
I started listening to it today but soon lost interest and returned to Symphony 4. However, I need to listen to the Cello Concerto properly as it is well regarded.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: pjme on October 11, 2018, 05:54:02 AM
(https://img.discogs.com/cAeRN4gSRjpP0xnZLUzZEIRSPXk=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-6712218-1425139690-5496.jpeg.jpg)

This is the only Kokkonen work I have - bought it way back in ca 1986 or 1987.
Havent't listened to it in years.... & will report back later today or tomorrow.

Peter

Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on October 11, 2018, 06:27:11 AM
(https://img.discogs.com/cAeRN4gSRjpP0xnZLUzZEIRSPXk=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-6712218-1425139690-5496.jpeg.jpg)

This is the only Kokkonen work I have - bought it way back in ca 1986 or 1987.
Havent't listened to it in years.... & will report back later today or tomorrow.

Peter

Look forwrd to hearing your views.

Jeffrey
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: pjme on October 11, 2018, 09:26:28 AM
Listening to Joonas Kokkonen's Requiem after several years of "neglect", was a most welcome and moving experience.

This score was written 1979-1981 and is one of Kokkonen's last. It is dedicated to his wife who passed away in 1979. According to the Wiki article "....His composition activity slowed down greatly after the death of his wife and increased alcohol consumption. He had long planned a Fifth Symphony but nothing was ever committed to paper and it died with him." Kokkonen died in 1996, aged 74.

It's a fairly short work at ca. 35 minutes and Kokkonen omits the Dies irae. That gives the work a positive, gentle touch; there's only one loud, dramatic (brass & percussion) climax. The music has generally a tonal feel and the soloists interventions are often melismatic.
A truly beautiful work! I will listen again.
The performance is excellent (especially baritone Jorma Hynninen)
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: Roasted Swan on October 11, 2018, 09:50:57 AM
The discussion on this thread has prompted me to order the 2-disc BIS set of the 4 symphonies - it includes the Requiem and chamber symphony (sorry haven't got the correct name to hand) but omits the cello concerto.  I checked back through my collection and was a bit surprised to realise this will be my first encounter.  Oh the expensive danger of reading these enthusiastic threads!
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on October 11, 2018, 11:09:35 AM
Listening to Joonas Kokkonen's Requiem after several years of "neglect", was a most welcome and moving experience.

This score was written 1979-1981 and is one of Kokkonen's last. It is dedicated to his wife who passed away in 1979. According to the Wiki article "....His composition activity slowed down greatly after the death of his wife and increased alcohol consumption. He had long planned a Fifth Symphony but nothing was ever committed to paper and it died with him." Kokkonen died in 1996, aged 74.

It's a fairly short work at ca. 35 minutes and Kokkonen omits the Dies irae. That gives the work a positive, gentle touch; there's only one loud, dramatic (brass & percussion) climax. The music has generally a tonal feel and the soloists interventions are often melismatic.
A truly beautiful work! I will listen again.
The performance is excellent (especially baritone Jorma Hynninen)
Very good to know Peter.
Thank you.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on October 11, 2018, 11:12:21 AM
The discussion on this thread has prompted me to order the 2-disc BIS set of the 4 symphonies - it includes the Requiem and chamber symphony (sorry haven't got the correct name to hand) but omits the cello concerto.  I checked back through my collection and was a bit surprised to realise this will be my first encounter.  Oh the expensive danger of reading these enthusiastic threads!
My apologies for reviving this thread after its two years hibernation!
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on October 11, 2018, 11:15:13 AM
Anyone here who has heard both the BIS and Ondine cycles of symphonies and has a comment on relative merits?
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: vandermolen on October 11, 2018, 11:19:30 AM
Anyone here who has heard both the BIS and Ondine cycles of symphonies and has a comment on relative merits?

I have two separate Ondine versions of Symphony 4 plus the BIS version. My favourite is the older Ondine version conducted by Paavo Berglund (pictured above) however I liked all three versions.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: mourningdoves on October 25, 2018, 06:39:07 PM
I've heard some music by Kokkonen over the years and never had much of a reaction one way or the next. Then about 18 months ago I got on a kick where all I did was sample all the 20th-century solo piano I could get my grubby hands on, and I found an album on Spotify with the promising-enough title of Kokkonen: Piano Works. I can't explain what makes this music different from any other music from the last 100 years, but I felt like I was hearing a unique message from a near but cloudy future, as if there was an impending cosmological/spiritual discovery that was pretty disturbing but might turn out to be really great. (Is that explanation scientific enough for you??) I know very little about Joonas Kokkonen, but I got the very strong impression that this music came from some serious place in his psyche, and that his concerns weren't solely aesthetic.

The recording is by Janne Mertanen, on a 1998, if I can trust Spotify's dating system, release on the Alba label. I never found a physical copy - and even wrote to Arkiv suggesting that they add it to their reissue stack. I finally found a .flac on Presto Classical. I gotta give some of his orchestral music another try.
Title: Re: The Kokkonen Borealis
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on November 19, 2018, 12:53:57 AM
I just listened to Kokkonen's 3rd symphony and found it a satisfying experience. I listened to a 1969 recording by Paavo Berglund and the Finnish Radio Symphony, on the Finlandia label (the "Meet the Composer" release I referred to above.

Quite a satisfying work and performance, I'd say. The audio is better than I have a right to expect from 1969. I can't say I have digested the music, but it left me wanting to hear it again. That's always a good sign.