PEKKA KOSTIAINEN (b.1944): Requiem.
Catalogue Number: 07U062
Reference: ABCD 417
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: Kostiainen's Requiem is a traditional setting of the Missa pro defunctis, in a tonal, Romantic idiom. Although conventional in some respects it is by no means unoriginal, and is a powerful and moving work of considerable grandeur. The composer acknowledges the influence of Renaissance and Romantic works in the genre, and draws on his own vast experience as choral conductor and composer of liturgical music to forge a communicative, personal idiom. The Requiem is dedicated to the memory of his mother, and because of this, the apocalyptic visions of the Dies irae sequence are omitted, apart from the Lacrimosa, as less relevant to the message he was trying to convey, though this dark movement and the Offertorium which follows it are as powerful and dramatic as one might wish; this is by no means an exclusively consoling work, though its arc trends from sorrow toward light and love in its radiant closing sections, after the pivotal Agnus Dei. This highly original movement alternates sections of pleading prayerfulness commonly associated with the text, with brash, martial, syncopated declamations as shocking in their way as the Dona Nobis Pacem of Bernstein's (very different!) Mass. The composer explains this as contrasting the brutal abuse of the sacrificial Lamb with our supplication for His mercy on our departed souls; a particularly striking example of the musical and theological thought that raise this work well above the ordinary. Suvi Väyrynen (soprano), Ena Pongrac (mezzo), Simo Mäkinen (tenor), Tapani Plathan (bass), Musica Choir, Jvväskylä Sinfonia & St. Michel Strings; Ville Matvejeff.