This new recording couples Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaaras latest concerto works with an orchestral piece from his early Modernist period (Modificata; 1957/2003). The virtuoso Percussion Concerto Incantations (2008) features the Scottish percussion soloist Colin Currie, who is the dedicatee and prem. Rautavaaras Second Cello Concerto Towards the Horizon (2009) was written for cellist Truls Mørk and plays continuously in one 20-minute movement. Reviewing the premiere the Star Tribune noted that the composer acknowledges a taste for eternity and a vain of mysticsm runs through his work. Einojuhani Rautavaara is recognized as one of the most notable Finnish composers after Jean Sibelius. His recordings on Ondine have been bestsellers and garnered numerous awards (including a recent GRAMMY nomination for his opera Kaivos). Under their chief conductor John Storgårds, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra builds on long-time pedigrees of performing their compatriots music.
Storgards and the Helsinki Philharmonic give exemplary support in the big-boned textures of both concertos but also shine on their own. This is an immensely noteworthy issue, not as a potential epitaph for Rautavaara the concerto-composer but for the quality of the music-making itself. RECORDING OF THE MONTH --Gramophone, Apr'12
Beautifully recorded and definitive performances by the soloists who are their dedicatees. --Hilary Finch, BBC Music Magazine
They do have wonderful moments, and they are well played by the two soloists --Ivan Hewitt, The Daily Telegraph
The piece [Towards the Horizon] as a whole falls so beguilingly on the ear - it has a charming, old-fashioned elegance in its utterance again typical of the man who wrote it... This recording was Truls Mørk s chance to reclaim the work... and he plays it with evident feeling... There is no doubting Currie's boundless virtuosity, his responses to the music ranging from impressionist delicacy to fire-cracker energy. --Martin Anderson, International Record Review
Winner of a Gramophone Award,2012,for best contemporary CD. --Gramophone
'Ondine's headlining of what are billed as the last of Rautavaara's concertos has finally placed them centre stage. And what a magnificent, highly contrasted double they make... The support from the excellent Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under John Storgards... and Ondine's sensational, vivid sound set the seal on a superb Contemporary Award-winner.' --Gramophone Awards Issue 2012 - Guy Rickards