Kalevi Aho’s 16th symphony had its premiere in Helsinki this week.
Our correspondent writes: ‘
I was surprised, in general, by the meditative, nearly religious character of the 5-movement piece with a duration of around 52 minutes. The string sections are really superb. Occasionally we get reminders of Shostakovich and perhaps some Polish contemporary composers. Yet, there is no doubt about the sincerity of the emotional level involved here.
Climax is the final movement (starting at 40:00) – it starts and ends as a kind of a magical oriental ritual: the percussions are joined by the soprano that recites poetry of Gertrud Kolmar – first behind the stage, then on the stage, and finally behind the stage again.’
You can listen to the symphony by clicking here.