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Rautavaara: Symphony No. 7 - Angel of Light CD


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Frequently Bought Together

Rautavaara: Symphony No. 7 - Angel of Light + Rautavaara: Cantus Arcticus / Piano Concerto 1 / Symphony 3 + Rautavaara - Piano Concertos Nos 2 and 3
Price For All Three: £18.06

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Royal Scottish National Orchestra
  • Conductor: Hannu Koivula
  • Composer: Einojuhani Rautavaara
  • Audio CD (6 Jan. 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00007FKQH
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,924 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 7, "Angel of Light": I. Tranquillo11:34Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 7, "Angel of Light": II. Molto allegro 5:45£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Symphony No. 7, "Angel of Light": III. Come un sogno 9:22Album Only
Listen  4. Symphony No. 7, "Angel of Light": IV. Pesante 8:40Album Only
Listen  5. Angels and Visitations20:48Album Only

Product Description

Symphonie n° 7 - Angels & Visitations / Royal Scottish National Orchestra - Hannu Koivula, direction

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sentinel TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Nov. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Rautavaara, like Peteris Vasks, is influenced by the sounds of the natural world, whether it be birdsong, the rolling rhythms of waves, or the wind's voice. This impressive album contains his 7th Symphony,'Angel of Light' and 'Angels & Visitations', so the ostensible subject matter is pretty clear. His trademark themes and motifs are well in evidence: although there is a 'heavenly' upper register, the ebb and flow of the melody reflects the movements: some slow, almost hesitant development, with space between chords in the 'Tranquillo', while the attack of the 2nd movement is led by some great work by the percussion section, especially some sparkling timpani. This partly echoes the concluding movement, which builds to full brass, only to vanish into..what?
A degree of mystery/uncertainty infuses the 'Angels/Visitations piece, which begins in a relatively restrained and orderly fashion, but increasingly dissolves into more threatening themes, capped by scurrying strings and menacing brass. This is gradually controlled and circumvented before the end, but the sense of unease still lingers. This is accessible, melodic, yet complex music, which will reward repeated listening for anyone with an interest in modern composition. If you appreciate Rautavaara already, I suggest you investigate the shamefully underated genius of Vasks (start with 'Message', a brilliant introduction to his work).
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Lynch on 14 Aug. 2003
Format: Audio CD
I bought this on spec when I spotted it at a local record shop, having been blown away by some of Rautavaara's earlier works. It isn't his greatest piece, but nor can I say I was disappointed in it. The Presto is the highpoint - Angels can be jolly too, apparently, and there's lots of chromatic fun here.
The RSNO put in a solid performance, but again, there's no real magic. If you like Rautavaara, then this is certainly worth a fiver. If you're unfamiliar with him, Cantus Articus or the 6th Symphony are better introductions to his music.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Davis on 8 Jan. 2003
Format: Audio CD
O.K. So I'm talking first impressions here - writing 2 days after release - but this is something special.
This is beautiful music and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra play as if they are living inside the composer's imagination.
Although there are gorgeous slow passages this isn't all rapture. Rautavaara's angels are fearful bringers of God's presence as well as messengers of peace.
Certain elements are common to both works: beautiful slow string passages and ones where the strings work up a Mahler like storm below while etherial percussion chimes above.
The second work, Angels and Visitations, is the more intense, a symphonic poem of depth and contrasts.
The symphony opens up wider vistas. There is a gale brewing in the first movement, a wonderfully restful third movement and a Fourth movement of shifting patterns that gradually returns to the stormy landscape of the first before drawing the symphony to a triumphant resolution.
Both works would be suitable accompaniments to an artic or antartic voyage and a comparisom for both would be Vaughan William's Sinfonia Antartica: also a seventh symphony. No one who is unsure about modern music should be frightened off, this music is both tonal and harmonic. Neither should those who regard new tonal music as lightweight avoid this. There is plenty of musical 'meat' here, especially in Angels and Visitations.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Williams TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Feb. 2007
Format: Audio CD
The first time I played this CD, I was impressed by a little touch right at the end, a sort of metallic diminuendo. Was it just a roll on the cymbal, or some orchestrational subtlety known only to Einojuhani Rautavaara - a name to conjure with if ever there was one? Then I played another CD and realized that this is the sound my CD player makes at the end of every CD it plays. Never mind; I did enjoy it; it was atmospheric, and who cares about melody and harmony anyway? In fact I enjoyed it so much that I've just ordered Cantus Arcticus, and look forward to letting you know what I think about that one. Oh those Finns!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Competition for Segerstam's versions at half the price 13 Mar. 2003
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
A friend once asked me to explain how Rautavaara achieves his usually instantly recognizable sound-world, and off the top of my head, and trying for humor, I replied, 'Well, imagine Debussy had a baby by Sibelius. When he grew up he'd be Rautavaara.' Not very funny, but afterwards I kept thinking about it and realized that I probably wasn't far off the mark. Combine the harmonies of Debussy with the dramatic use of the lower orchestral instruments by Sibelius and you come close. Add the Martinu-like layering of blocs of horn chords and string chords, all in minimalist slow harmonic motion, and you get even closer. Yet, somehow Rautavaara manages something new that I can't quite put my finger on. He accomplishes ecstasy and drama in equal measure. However he does it, his music is unfailingly beautiful.
Leif Segerstam has recorded both the Seventh Symphony, subtitled 'Angel of Light,' and another 'Angels' piece, 'Angels and Visitations' (prompted by some childhood dreams of Rautavaara), but they are not on the same disc. His performances are a bit more edgy or, if you prefer, more potent than these performances here. But Hannu Koivula and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra do very well by these pieces, too, and actually, to my ears, achieve more of the ecstatic stasis that occurs in spots in both these works. The performances are quite good, the price is certainly terrific, and the recorded sound is clean and truthful. If you want either or both of these pieces, and don't already have the Segerstam performances on the Ondine label, I'd suggest you go for it!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Rautavaara's modern romanticism 20 Mar. 2005
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Finland's Rautavaara, after exploring the world of serialism as a young man, turned toward lush romanticism later in life. With this Symphony No. 7 "Angel of Light" (1994), he dramatically expanded his audience, as he tapped a popular longing for tonality and meaning in classical music. The meaning is only hinted at -- he says the "angel" is not to be taken literally -- but still it has seemed to resonate with the Zeitgeist. This is effective if simplistic and formulaic music (3 parts Sibelius + 1 part Part) which continues the romantic symphonic tradition.

The structure of the piece is a conventional symphonic form, with a fast second movement and a slow third movement, but it is an odd juxtoposition of styles and moods. The first movement invokes, for me, a Scandinavian nature tableau, a grand panorama of wind, waves and craggy shorelines that Sibelius would recognize as his offspring. Then comes the ironic scherzo with mocking horns, a Prokofievian turn, and an element that does not seem to clearly fit with the rest of the work. It is the slow movement (Come un sogno -- Like a dream), that has most impressed listeners with its sense of spirituality, wonder and awe. It seems to combine romantic melodiousness with the holy minimalism of Part. The finale returns to a heroic Sibelius mode. The accompanying piece, "Angels and Visitations" (1978), is a more disturbing work, which contrasts frightening, powerful blasts of dissonance with somber, Part-like interludes.

This is, I believe, the second recording of the 7th Symphony, following Segerstam's on Ondine. Hannu Koivula and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra are superb, and there is no need to fear that the low Naxos price indicates low quality. This is a recording that has met with universal critical acclaim.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
More convincing than the average Rautavaara 29 Oct. 2006
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Music by the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara tends to be entertaining the first time one hears it, and rather empty afterward. I first discovered his work through various other discs, and ultimately I was disappointed by the fluffy feel of writing and lack of rigour or any fresh perspective. These two orchestral works, performed here by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Hannu Koivula, are more successful.

Symphony No. 7 "Angel of Light" (1994) is one of Rautavaara's most acclaimed works, giving the composer a sudden popularity in much the same fashion as Gorecki's Third Symphony gave to that Polish composer. As it is a purely instrumental work, any clear programmatic basis is sure to depend on the subjective interpretation of the listener, but Rautavaara has made it plain that he didn't intend the work to evoke New Age pictorial images. Cast in four movements but not with the classical form, it is a boldly Romantic work that subjugates overt melody below an ambience created by tonal chords over a pedal point. What's striking about the work is that the effect is so strong from the very beginning, even when the composer is writing only for selected portions of the ensemble, and when orchestral tuttis come, they sound grand indeed. The scherzo comes in the second movement here, the only lively portion of the work, and has some very charming writing for percussion.

The 20-minute "Angels and Vistations" (1978) is a very different work. Based on childhood dreams which apparently were quite frightening, its soundworld is filled with conflict. It opens with images of doom in the bass kept in balance by tinkling percussion, but ultimately these bright tones fade out and grimness sets in. It's an engaging piece, just as successful a depiction of nightmare as, say, the second movement of Carter's "Symphonia".

Sure, none of the material here shows symphonic writing of the strength of Per Norgard, Alfred Schnittke, Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg, or even Sofia Gubaidulina. But it's a lot better than the average Rautavaara. If you must get something by the eclectic Finn, this is one disc that won't seem tired after the first few listens. Indeed, it even draws the listener back rather often.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Rautavaara's seventh symphony: simply beautiful! 31 July 2004
By Crt Sojar Voglar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I praise Rautavaara for writing such music! The seventh symphony is clearly one of the most beautiful compositions ever! I know, some people (mostly so-called 'professionals' and critics) will call it sentimental, too sweet and perfect for Hollywood romantic feature film. But if you are a normal human being and feelings, you should simply close your eyes and let the sound colours touch your heart. The angels are mysterious, nice, gentle and caring (first and third movement), sometimes a bit nasty (malicious second movement) and glorius (fourth movement).

Angels and visitations are the composer's written experience when he visioned a nightmare as a child. This angels were obviously not friendly. The music contains some soft but tense beauty and terror-like explosions in the orchestra. The masterful orchestral fantasy and a fine example of so-called 'post-modernism'. Rautavaara, thank you very much for providing us with such great classical music of the new age!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Flights of Angels 13 Nov. 2010
By Sentinel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Rautavaara, like Peteris Vasks, is influenced by the sounds of the natural world, whether it be birdsong, the rolling rhythms of waves, or the wind's voice. This impressive album contains his 7th Symphony,'Angel of Light' and 'Angels & Visitations', so the ostensible subject matter is pretty clear. His trademark themes and motifs are well in evidence: although there is a 'heavenly' upper register, the ebb and flow of the melody reflects the movements: some slow, almost hesitant development, with space between chords in the 'Tranquillo', while the attack of the 2nd movement is led by some great work by the percussion section, especially some sparkling timpani. This partly echoes the concluding movement, which builds to full brass, only to vanish into..what?
A degree of mystery/uncertainty infuses the 'Angels/Visitations piece, which begins in a relatively restrained and orderly fashion, but increasingly dissolves into more threatening themes, capped by scurrying strings and menacing brass. This is gradually controlled and circumvented before the end, but the sense of unease still lingers. This is accessible, melodic, yet complex music, which will reward repeated listening for anyone with an interest in modern composition. If you appreciate Rautavaara already, I suggest you investigate the shamefully underated genius of Vasks (start with 'Message', a brilliant introduction to his work).
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