in Reviews

Old forms, fresh timbres

by Juha Torvinen

Olli Virtaperko’s music is like the missing third dimension of an abstract painting. His great sense of timbre is exemplified in this recording of concertos for unusual solo instruments.

Of the three compositions, it is the title work that really stands out, representing a pleasing balance between form and in-the-moment hooks. Classical and rock influences, embodied by the amplified cello, blend seamlessly. The soloist Perttu Kivilaakso’s cadenza is ravishing. One wants to hear this work again.

According to the composer, Multikolor represents ‘absolute music’. I’d rather say that of the three works, this one sounds like it the most. Frames are new and shiny, but the inside is somewhat standard. One hears earthy roars, touching weeps, and multiphonics on static sound-fields. Joonatan Rautiola shows the versatility of the baritone saxophone with great skill.

Nostalgically futuristic Ambrosian Delights showcases the soloist Jonte Knif’s self-made analogue synthesiser, the knifonium. Its tone reflects something that once was the future. This is a joyous mixed-media composition that manages to maintain the listener’s attention throughout.

The work of the Jyväskylä Sinfonia and Ville Matvejeff is impeccable, but Ondine’s is not: they should not have left out Finnish and Swedish booklet notes.

Three Concertos

Perttu Kivilaakso, amplified cello
Joonatan Rautiola, baritone saxophone
Jonte Knif, knifonium
Jyväskylä Sinfonia, cond. Ville Matvejeff

Ondine ODE 1305-2