KALEVI AHO (b.1949): Concerto for Horn and Chamber Orchestra, 8 Jahreszeiten for Theremin and Chamber Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 09Q011
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: The horn concerto starts with a mysterious indroduction full of Mahlerian horn-calls and Nielsenesque nature music, during which the soloist enters from offstage while playing, leading to an agitated allegro showing the influence of Shostakovich (the theme even alludes to the DSCH motif) emerges. This transitions into the sad, autumnal pastoral music of an accompanied cadenza. The folowing tarantella-like scherzo - incorporating more Nielsen-Shostakovich hybrid gestures - features a lively dialogue between the soloist and the orchestral horn, and the slow finale returns to the mystery of the opening in a ghostly, Busonian nocturnal palette. The soloist's progression around the stage during the work lends a ritualistic character to the proceedings, and the horn part contains some micro-intervallic pitch colorations, based on the unique overtone series of the horn. The concerto for Theremin, that remarkable seven-octave voice that never needs to breathe - depicts the eight parts of the Sami Laplanders' year in eight linked sections vividly depicting the strange light and landscape of the extreme north, the soloist imitating the wild, lonely cries of birds, singing melancholy songs, conjuring a magical atmosphere of a ncient ritual, and, it must be said, entirely avoiding the 1950s sci-fi connotations of the instrument. The accompanying orchestration is a miracle of inventiveness, evoking the scintillant glittering of sunlight on snow, the uncanny luminescence of the midnight sun, and the bleak, harsh contours of the landscape. Annu Salminen (horn), Carolina Eyck (theremin), Lapland Chamber Orchestra; John Storgårds.