Whenever a new guitar work draws its inspiration from Spain, I become circumspect: not again. Hakola manages to surprise positively, though. Apparently, he has identified in medieval Spain something akin to his well-known all- inclusive musical language: a harmonious co- existence of views, beliefs and traditions.
The somewhat traditionally built first movement is followed by a second that adopts an old Sephardi song. The third movement, representing a soundscape of a traditional Spanish marketplace, strikes by confusing the roles of soloist, orchestra and even the audience. The music maintains its hold on the listener throughout, and the orchestration is brilliant.
Hosokawa’s Voyage IX, Awakening, full of sordino strings and glimmering percussion leaving room for a guitar soloist, is compelling but also quite traditional in its Modernist tone. Korhonen performs flawlessly, and the Oulu Symphony Orchestra, kept on a string by Santtu- Matias Rouvali, is on top form.