Four CDs full of a Modernist composer’s organ music is a heavy package indeed. In the hands of the organist Jan Lehtola et al. we manage to get a full picture of Heininen’s style viewed through a single instrument. And Heininen does not let us down: at all of the stages of his career, Heininen’s works are carefully structured, their compositionaltechnical principles are sophisticated and musical ideas clever (within his Modernist parameters).
While explaining extensively the personal and literary backgrounds of his compositions in the sleeve notes (which would have benefited from an editor), Heininen rushes to say that he does not admit any psychological identification between music and text. This statement is paradoxical from a psychological and music-ontological point of view, but it is true at least in one sense: Heininen’s writings and thoughts have always been much more interesting than his music.
Musicians on this recording are up to their task. But the recording as a whole, I’m afraid, has more historical (and pedagogical) than musical significance.
Jan Lehtola (organ), Risto Pulkamo (baritone), Annikka Konttori-Gustafsson (piano)
Pilfink Records JJVCD-114