Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928) is one of the most colourful and diverse figures in Finnish music. He is an artist of exceptionally broad scope, at once Romantic and intellectual, mysticist and constructivist. He has gone through a great many stages in his stylistic development, yet he has combined different stylistic elements in post-modernist fashion within individual works. Having graduated from Helsinki University in 1952, he studied at the Sibelius Academy with Aarre Merikanto and, after winning a Koussevitzky Foundation fellowship in 1955, with Vincent Persichetti at the Juilliard School, as well as with Aaron Copland and Roger Sessions at Tanglewood. He furthered his studies in Ascona with Vladimir Vogel and in Cologne with Rudolf Petzold. A lecturer at the Sibelius Academy from 1966 to 1971, he was then appointed to the state position of Professor in Arts. Since 1990 he has devoted himself exclusively to composition, his music having received numerous awards and been featured on many recordings.
Rautavaara’s early pieces, typified by the prize-winning A Requiem in Our Time (1953), drew upon the Nordic classicism of Sibelius and Nielsen, as well as the influences of Bartók, Shostakovich and folk-music. His Fourth Symphony (1962) was among the first Finnish works to employ serial techniques, while the later widening of his stylistic range gave rise, in 1972, to two of his most enduring works, Vigilia, drawing on Orthodox liturgical chant, and Cantus Arcticus (Naxos 8.554147), employing taped birdsong alongside modal and aleatoric (chance-derived) elements. A greater tonal orientation is evident in his more recent music, such as the Symphonies Nos. 5 to 8 (No. 7 on Naxos 8.555814) and operas Thomas (1985), Vincent (1987) and Aleksis Kivi (1997). Meanwhile, the growing recognition accorded his music can be gauged from the international commissions he has received over the last decade.
|Box Set Release
|GLASS Of Beauty and Light (US Version)
|Nordic Classical Favourites
|PÄRT The Silence of Being