AULIS SALLINEN (b.1935): Symphony No. 3, Op. 35, Symphony No. 5, Op. 57 "Washington Mosaics".
Catalogue Number: 07K092
Reference: 999 970
Description: Sallinen's symphonies are self-recommending to enthusiasts for modern neo-romanticism. The Third (1975) is a substantial three-movement work in Sallinen's characteristically original modern tonal vocabulary, with its unmistakable debt to both Shostakovich and Sibelius. It consists of a central chaconne preceded by a tense first movement and followed by a finale of in initially slow pulse gradually disrupted and finally overwhelmed by motoric fanfares, underpinned by furious assaults from the percussion. The 'Mosaics' of the title of the Fifth refers to its unusual 5-movement structure, the substantial outer movements introducing and juxtaposing material, while the central three 'intermezzi' are mosaic tiles of different material altogether. The symphony starts out with angry fanfares, similar to those of the Third and Fourth. These subside in favor of music of darkly looming character, punctuated by episodes of a darkly humorous character, suggesting a Mephistophelean totentanz. The second movement is a brooding penumbral landscape into which angular woodwind figuration injects a growing sense of agitation and menace. The third introduces a theme of somber, heroic character against a background of mounting tension. The fourth is the most neo-romantic section, with prominent echoes of Mahler. This leads to a familiar driven, galloping Sallinen finale bringing the work full circle to the material of the opening, with the heroic theme added for good measure. Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz; Ari Rasilainen.