Violinist Kreeta-Maria Kentala is not only one of Finland’s most highly appreciated Baroque specialists; she is also a fiddler through and through, having grown up with folk music in Kaustinen. Here, she continues on the dualist path introduced on her award-winning solo album Side by side. Her duo partner on the present disc, harpsichord player Tea Polso, is similarly musically bilingual.
On Polska Pandolfi, Kentala and Polso pair traditional polska tunes from Ostrobothnia with violin sonatas by Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli. Pandolfi’s sonatas are characterised by abrupt mood shifts, and his sonata structures are often loosely conceived, which makes it all the easier to slip smoothly into folk music. The traditional polska is a genre embracing a wide variety of moods, from mystical meditation to partying hard, but on this disc there is a definite scarlet thread linking folk to Baroque. Indeed, the contrasts found in polska tunes reflect the structures of Pandolfi’s sonatas quite wonderfully.
The transitions between the two genres are bold and invigorating, just as on Kentala’s solo album, but the harpsichord obviously lends a wider range of arrangement potential. The performances are robust and rhythmic, and Polso has some solo passages as well. Making musical worlds collide in this fashion is particularly fascinating, because rather than presenting a fusion or creating original music from a range of influences, this concept involves a dialogue between musical worlds where neither loses any of its particular characteristics.
Kreeta-Maria Kentala & Tea Polso: PolskaPandolfi
Alba ABCD 501
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi