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Rautavaara: Cantus Arcticus / Piano Concerto No. 1 / Symphony No. 3
 
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Rautavaara: Cantus Arcticus / Piano Concerto No. 1 / Symphony No. 3

15 Feb. 1999 | Format: MP3

£4.79 (VAT included if applicable)
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Song Title Artist
Time
Popularity  
30
1
7:07
30
2
4:19
30
3
7:30
30
4
9:52
30
5
8:01
30
6
3:06
30
7
12:27
30
8
7:16
30
9
6:04
30
10
7:35
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 15 Feb. 1999
  • Release Date: 15 Feb. 1999
  • Label: Naxos
  • Copyright: (C) 1999 Naxos
  • Total Length: 1:13:20
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001LZNEWY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Lynch on 16 Aug. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Cantus Articus was the work that got me into Rautavaara's music - the second movement, Melankolia, is for me one of the most beautiful pieces of classical music produced in the past 50 years. In this unusual work, tape recordings of arctic bird song are superbly mixed in with orchestral playing. The effect can be simply magical and one can picture oneself by a lake in Northern Finland, watching the swans fly and the midges dance on an endless summer evening. This was the piece with which Rautavaara abandoned his adherence to the rigid forms of post-war atonalism and, to my mind at least, his masterpiece.
The Piano Concerto is a more angular, atonal, work with lots of clashing harmonies. However it also has a real energy and verve with some ravishing interplay between the strings and the piano, especially in the middle movement.
Finally there's the 3rd symphony, the first two movements of which are full of gorgeous broad chords on string and brass, very reminiscent of Sibelius. In the latter movements the pace picks up as the sympony heads towards a rousing finish.
The RNSO, who seem to be Naxos' specialist Rautavaara orchestra, give a good account of all of this. With this CD at such a low price there's no better introduction to this composer.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Dec. 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is music that certainly conjures up the majestic and austere vistas of those Arctic landscapes. The bird recordings add to the ghostliness of the "Cantus", and the concerto displays its beauty on repeated listenings. Both orchestra and soloist perform superbly, and the recording is up to Naxos' usual high standard. Unfamiliar with Rautavaara's work, this CD was bought on a whim, and I was not disappointed. Highly recommended, especially at this price.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Williams TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Mar. 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love this CD. I can't describe it in the 'correct' musical jargon, but I know how it makes me feel. Wide open spaces, big skies, a bracing wind in my face, and the melancholy cries of birds sending a shiver up my spine! Then there's the piano concerto. Rautavaara makes the piano sound like water in all its forms; tinkling drops of rain, murmuring streams, deep, still pools, crashing waves or roaring waterfalls. There's nothing so specific I can say about the third symphony except that it is in much the same mould as the first two pieces. The one weakness of the whole collection to my mind is the way the symphony peters out at the very end. I'm not a big fan of anything too modern or atonal: I do like melody and harmony. So I was surprised by the power with which this music gripped me. There may be no hummable tunes, but just feel the atmosphere! And there is nothing too discordant; on the contrary, there are a lot of lush harmonies for you to wallow in. The recording is very sharp, with all of the sounds well separated, especially the brass. I have not heard any other performances of these pieces, but these sound pretty good to my inexpert ears. I see that this CD is being promoted together with another in the same series by Rauravaara which includes his seventh symphony. I have them both, and they are both good, especially in view of the price, but if you're going to get just one, then get this one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 July 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not wishing to repeat anything from the superb initial review by Bob Zeidler I would simply add the following:

The music of the Cantus Arcticus is simpler in texture than is typical for Rautavaara. It really is as though he is making space for the bird song in the manner of a concerto, rather than as a mere special effect as was done say by Respighi in the Fountains (or was it the Pines?) You are intended to listen to the bird song rather than be simply soothed by the notion of it. The overall effect is to evoke big skies over silver seas, ruffled by fresh and cleansing winds, in landscapes large enough for humans to be refreshingly small in an overcrowded age. I am grateful to the initial reviewer for his recommendation of an alternate version of this work with a better birdsong tape, not that I find the present one in any way unsuccessful.

The first Piano Concerto is clearly a masterpiece showing Rautavarra at his very best in several respects. The work is of a grand Romantic sweep and structure, but with enough modernist inflections to make it clear that you are hearing something by someone really not quite like anybody else, but expressed with pianism of the highest order. I find myself thinking of Rachmaninov, and wondering if he had allowed his modernist impulses a bit more reign, or just been born twenty years later, he would have written piano music somewhat like this. I can also just hear Rachmaninov playing this, he would know how to make the fireworks build, not that this is not itself a fine performance.

The third symphony I am familiar with from elsewhere,
...Read more ›
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By cyberfloat@clara.net on 20 Jun. 2001
Format: Audio CD
I only bought this CD out of curiosity. The title work, Cantus Arcticus, concerto for Birds and Orchestra, struck me as something of a joke. Upon reading the excellent sleeve notes my heart sank when I saw it was based around the whole tone scale. I expected to hear a work full of discordant harmonies and jarring rhythmns. What I actually got was pure beauty. This is a totally accessible Cd and one I have become quite addicted to.
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