SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

“Nostalgia: Lyrical Finnish Music for Strings” = Works of SIBELIUS, MARIKANTO, JARNEFELT, KLAMI, others – Ostrobothnian Ch. Orch. – Alba

A well-played collection of Finnish string classics.

Published on May 23, 2013

“Nostalgia: Lyrical Finnish Music for Strings” =  KAJANUS: Berceuse “The Pauper Girl’s Lullaby”; SIBELIUS: Impromptu Op. 5/5-6; Romanze  in C Op. 42 JARNEFELT: Early One Morning; SIBELIUS: Presto Op. 4/3; MELARTIN: Canzone; MERIKANTO: Canzona; Raitio: Romance, Serenata; KLAMI: Lullaby; Sonatine; KASKI: Song Without Words; MADETOJA: Elegy Op. 4/1; KUULA: Song Without Words Op. 22/1; HAAPALAINEN: I Cannot Forget You — Ostrobothnian Ch. Orch./ Juha Kangas/ Reijo Tunkkari, violin solos — Alba ABCD344 multichannel SACD, 62:36 [Distr. by Albany] (4/9/13) ****:

This 5.1 channel SACD is a collection of Finnish String music from composers both familiar and more obscure. Sibelius is of course included with his Impromptu Op. 5/5-6 and the Romanze in C Op. 42. The disc is also filled with works by lesser known composers like Madetoja and Kaski.

The musicianship of the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra is first rate under conductor Juha Kangas. Unlike many compilations, the music presented keeps to a singular mood, and the disc is very pleasant late night listening or a time when you are in a contemplative mood. It’s always enjoyable to hear music from composers not previously heard, and the Järnefelt Early One Morning, written in 1900, was particularly musically interesting, enough so that it is worthwhile to seek out some more by the composer.

The multichannel recording is of very high quality. It is not a sonic showpiece in the traditional sense, but captures the strings realistically while letting the surround channels reflect the recording venue. “Nostalgia” is a very nice collection of mostly unfamiliar chamber works. It’s a very pleasant listen and a well chosen compilation.

—Mel Martin

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