HARRI VUORI (b.1957): Grey Owl, VELI-MATTI PUUMALA (b.1965): Apostrophe, PERTTU HAAPANEN (b.1972): Letters, HARRI AHMAS (b.1957): Simple Stories, AIJA PUURTINEN (b.1959): Meteo, ANTON WEBERN (1883-1945): 6 Bagatelles for String Quartet, Op. 9.

Catalogue Number: 09K109

Label: Alba

Reference: ABCD 239

Format: CD

Price: $17.98

Description: Vuori's Grey Owl, the title referring both to an early 20th-century Canadian environmental activist of that name and the actual creature, whose haunting cries were heard by the composer while he was working on the piece, consists of wild, nocturnal woodwind sounds, more abstract and elemental than his tightly organised symphonies [above]. Puumala's dramatic concertante work pits a solo violin against percussion and sustained drones from the other strings, each in different scordatura, with accordingly enriched harmonic texture. Haapanen's Letters is a monodrama with musical accompaniment, 'acted' by a narrator and singer against a wandering, ambiguous accompaniment (no text provided in the booklet). Ahmas' three little pieces explore three moods in tautly expressive woodwind textures, while Puurtinen's Meteo evokes some unnamed archaic ritual in singing with a primitive folk character against melancholy, hypnotic and largely consonant accompaniment, which subsequently dominates the character of the piece which takes on a gentle, songlike mood. Webern's Bagatelles are used as a kind of glue holding the recital together, dispersed among the other pieces; only the multi-channel DSD layer contains a reprise of these - all of 4:36, described as a 'remix' - at the end. Zagros. Alba SACD hybrid

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