SALLINEN: Chamber Music I–VIII
Arto Noras (cello), Alexis Roman (alto flute), Meta4 String Quartet, Ralf Gothóni (piano), Ville Matvejeff (piano), Jyväskylä Sinfonia Wind Quintet
Jyväskylä Sinfonia, cond. Ville Matvejeff and Ralf Gothóni
Ondine ODE 1256-2D
Aulis Sallinen has numbered his chamber music works and not for convenience only. It is based on musical-aesthetic criteria. For Sallinen there is an essential feature in all chamber works, just as the idea of a motivic unity connects all symphonies or a soloist belongs to all concertos. Technically speaking, the string orchestra is the main common feature of the works included on this recording, but I’d say that it is the underlying and profound humanist attitude that ties Sallinen’s chamber works together even more.
His organic music does not form (or grow) in a closed greenhouse, but always in an empathic connection to a wider world, nature and culture. These works are, in a unique way, interestingly novel and strangely familiar at the same time.
Listen to the combination of clusters and diatonic motifs in Chamber Music I; the vain dances of the mad-driven ur-womaniser in III; the nervous, almost surreally bouncing metamorphoses in IV; or the musical search in VIII for something that concerns all beings: calm and storm, life and death, and destruction. Of the many performers on this recording, one could mention Ville Matvejeff’s sensitive conducting and Arto Noras’s grooving cello.