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Hyperion Records

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Mystical Tree (1996) by Peter Davidson (d1999)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67787
Recording details: March 2009
Exeter College Chapel, Oxford, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by Andrew Mellor
Release date: January 2010
Total duration: 5 minutes 55 seconds

'From the vibrancy of the very first track, the lively imagination of Rautavaara's writing for voices, the pungent palette of the Schola Cantorum of Oxford, and the clarity and spacial excitement of this record, are immediately apparent' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The music may be as soft-centred as melting chocolate, but the performances have real fire and beauty' (The Irish Times)

Suite de Lorca
1973; written for a composition competition in Espoo
author of text
Canción de jinete from Andaluzas; El grito from Poema de la Siguiriya gitana; La luna asoma from Canciones de luna; Malagueña from Tres ciudades

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The diminutive Suite de Lorca (1973) is a prime example of just how difficult it is to predict what will become a hit. Rautavaara wrote the piece as a companion to his Children’s Mass and entered both in a composition competition organized by his home city of Espoo. Rautavaara had no great expectations regarding the Suite. But while the Mass won first prize, it is rarely performed nowadays; the Suite won third prize yet is today one of the most popular Finnish choral works of all time.

This may have something to do with how the piece packs a considerable impact in its short duration. Consisting of four brief but intense pieces, it is essentially a study in the use of symmetrical scales (alternating tones and semitones). Canción de jinete (‘Riding song’) is based on a monomaniac galloping rhythm, while El grito (‘The scream’) is based on, well, a scream. La luna asoma (‘The moon rises’) features ‘moon music’ foreshadowing similar passages on similar texts in Katedralen and Canción de nuestro tiempo, while the parallel chords of Malagueña mimic the strumming of a guitar.

from notes by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi © 2010

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