Sallinen: Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 5; Cello Concerto; Chamber Music I & III; Shadows; Sunrise Serenade

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COMPOSERS: Sallinen
LABELS: Finlandia
WORKS: Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 5; Cello Concerto; Chamber Music I & III; Shadows; Sunrise Serenade
PERFORMER: Arto Noras (cello), Jouko Harjanne, Aki Välimäki (trumpet); Helsinki PO, Finlandia Sinfonietta/Okko Kamu, Avanti CO/Jukka-Pekka Saraste
CATALOGUE NO: 4509-99966-2 ADD/DDD 1984-9
Best known for his operas, Aulis Sallinen has been prolific in many genres, and this handy orchestral compilation well illustrates why he’s probably the most widely performed Finnish composer since Sibelius. The ghosts of Sibelius and Shostakovich often haunt his music, but Symphony No. 5 powerfully demonstrates his disturbing ability to refocus basically traditional gestures. Sallinen’s profound gifts of atmosphere emerge in Shadows and some of the small-orchestra pieces, which also trace a vein of Nordic nostalgia. Highly expressive performances; Arto Noras is an eloquent soloist in the Cello Concerto and the naughtily swinging Chamber Music III, where Sallinen unexpectedly lets his hair down. Calum MacDonald

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