Ethereal Voices, The Music of Einojuhani Rautavaara

Chris Reid

The concert finale was Rautavaara’s 1979 setting of the Magnificat, a more darkly brooding piece than the lighter, earlier works. Sung in Latin, the voicing included a countertenor, and the soprano solos were hauntingly beautiful. The work alternates powerful, gestural statements with softer passages to build drama. Lines are sung in parallel with spoken text evoking an angelic chorus. But this work was not the finale after all, the audience volubly demanding an encore. The choir chose another Finnish hero, Jean Sibelius, and offered 2 of his works, the latter a choral setting of Finlandia. Culminating in a single melodic line that reaches a powerful crescendo, Finlandia was intense and moving. One wondered how many in the audience might have wanted to join the choir in singing what amounts to a Finnish anthem. The Kampin Laulu 23-member choir was superb, creating an ethereal sound that filled the gracious St Mary’s, the voices clear and balanced.

Ethereal Voices: The Music of Einojuhani Rautavaara,Kampin Laulu Chamber Choir
St Mary’s Church, Brisbane, July 23

RealTime issue #58 Dec-Jan 2003 pg. 43

© Chris Reid; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 December 2003
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