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Rautavaara: Symphony No. 7 "a

Kari Jussila (Organ); Helsinki Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 16.81 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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1. Angel Of Light (Symphony No. 7): I - Tranquillo
2. Angel Of Light (Symphony No. 7): II - Molto allegro
3. Angel Of Light (Symphony No. 7): III - Come un sogno
4. Angel Of Light (Symphony No. 7): IV - Pesante - cantabile
5. Annunciations (Concerto for Organ, Brass Group and Symphonic Wind Orchestra)

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Amazon.ca

Angel of Light is Einojuhani Rautavaara's seventh symphony. Written in 1994, Angel of Light is a slowly unfolding sonic landscape of misty impressions and elevated language. It has no program, but the music does evoke a serene mood and is very hymn-like. This is one of Rautavaar's most "user-friendly" symphonies. Annuciations (1976-77) employs a large wind orchestra and concertante brass quintet, as well as an organ. The spectrum of sound Rautavaara gets from this combination has to be heard to believed. Rautavaara's music is the shimmer of the aurora borealis. Spooky. Enlightening. --Paul Cook

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Hmm...thoughts anyone? Dec 3 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I purposely put a single star simply because I'm still at a loss about how to judge "Angel of Light". On the surface, this symphony is very seductive -- lush orchestration, traidic themes and harmonies, colourful orchestration, and so on. And, believe it or not, the pitches are serialized to a certain degree (the row outlines triads, somewhat like the Berg violin concerto; the initial string melody after the intro. of the last movement reveals a row form in inversion, if memory serves). In fact, the first movement ends with a G minor triad with an added F#, just like the ending of the first movement of the Berg concerto. I wonder if this is a deliberate reference? Despite all of my affection for this work, part of me is disgusted at it, and another part of me is disgusted at myself for going back to such a work every few months or so. It's all so lush and all so seductive that I often wonder what's gotten over me -- have I been musically seduced by a shell while ignoring what could be inside (or, *if* there is anything inside)? Given the cultish popularity of Rautavaara, I'm surprised to find no customer reviews posted. So I invite anyone who has listened to the work to post a review -- I'm really curious about what other people think about this symphony.
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By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
With his Seventh Symphony, Rautavaara achieves a level of musical mastery beyond any living composer. This piece has it all: advanced "cyclic" form (as in Mahler), balance beyond belief, orchestration crafted delicately and powerfully, and themes conceived so pristinely as to make every composer jealous. The slow movement of "Angel of Light" is amazingly beatiful, as is the entire piece. But my reaction to the 3rd movement of this astounding work was unlike any I've ever had. I could feel my mind growing to percieve this wonderous music. I could not move- I couldn't do anything save listen. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Now you might think that that is a bit over-the-top, but you have not heard this music. I immensely recommend this to all of you. IF I could live with just one piece of music- this would be it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Reply to, "Hmmm....thoughts anyone?" May 5 2000
Format:Audio CD
Yes, this symphony is very seductive. I don't believe it is hollow. The very first time I heard it in 1996 in New York City, I knew that I had to have it. And each time I listen to it, I am amazed, mystified, and awe-struck at the sheer strangeness of it. It is indeed a musical angel full of light. The Annunciations is truly one unique piece of music. The way this music gripped me was so intense that I truly thought I was having a heart attack, at 20 yrs of age no less! This came about when the pipe organ was suddenly turned off, with the sound swirling around like a fiery breath. Really, no words can describe the way this music moves me with each listen...SIMPLY STUNNING! So no, don't feel guilty listening to it. Absorb it with all the passion that music affords humankind with.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Genius. Dec 29 1999
Format:Audio CD
Orchestration: brilliant. Music: superb. Easily of of the greatest symphonies of all time. In "Angel of Light" (Symphony No. 7), Rautavaara strikes gold. In a time where most living composers will be forgotten, he stands apart. With this CD, anyone can have a taste of the future that music will have. And a bright future it is. Highly recommended. Five stars.
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Format:Audio CD
Rautavaara is, along with Arvo Part, the best of todays' composers. On this CD, containing his 5th and 7th symphonies, (both with word names- i.e. "Angel of Light") Rautavaara is at hids best. The slow movement of his "Angel of Light" symphony is among the most beautiful music EVER written. Highly recommended. Five stars.
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