JOONAS KOKKONEN (1921-1996): Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2, Opus sonorum.
Catalogue Number: 09L084
Reference: ODE 1129-2
Description: These symphonies belong to the composer's brief dodecaphonic period; it should be noted that despite the serial organization of material, a very strong sense of Sibelian organic growth is present, especially in the First. This work is uneasy, agitated and tragic in the inner movements, especially the bitter and angry third, which collides without a break with the somber chorale of the finale. The Second, written during a time of crisis for the composer, continues this tragic mood, here with greater austerity and economy, and less of a suggestion of underlying tonal references in the harmony, though hints of the Sibelius of the Fourth symphony remain. Opus Sonorum is a miniature symphonic structure in 3 movements, and heralded the composer's transition from dodecaphony to his later neo-romantic style, with, as the title suggests, an emphasis on sound, richly coloring the always rigorous musical argument. Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Sakari Oramo.