Cellist Tanja Tetzlaff’s and pianist Gunilla Süssman’s recording of Einojuhani Rautavaara’s (1928–2016) works for cello and piano gives a glance into the composer’s expressive endeavours under five decades, starting with Two Preludes and Fugues (1955).
Sonata for Cello Solo (1969) is a charming study of baroque polyphony and bare, archaic harmonies, while Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 1 (1972–1973, revised 2001) bears witness to the composer’s affinity with soaring arches of cello cantilena and symmetrically organized piano harmonies.
In Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 2 (1991), a more restless and multifaceted work, Rautavaara uses material from two earlier works, Dialogos and the opera The House of the Sun.
Rautavaara’s arrangement of Song of my Heart (1996/2000), originally from the opera Aleksis Kivi, serves as an interlude. In Variations on a Folk Tune from Rantasalmi for Two Cellos and Piano (1977) Tetzlaff plays, somewhat puzzlingly, both cello parts.
Tetzlaff’s and Süssman’s vision of this music is lucid and profound, never overly sentimental but always highly expressive.
RAUTAVAARA: Works for Cello and Piano
Tanja Tetzlaff (cello), Gunilla Süssmann (piano)
Ondine ODE 1310-2