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Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb International, January 2012

I’m sure that this neatly selected series of works will whet the appetite of those yet to experience Rautavaara’s music. I think it’s right that if you’re going to present a compact work by him in toto it should be Cantus arcticus, which is one of his most popular. This Concerto for Birds and Orchestra, a beautiful title if ever there was one, evinces all his most personal and vital qualities—string wash of great, indeed magnetic, power and concentration, the quality of melancholy so often encountered in his music, and an accumulation of sound that reaches, at moments, almost a frenzy.

The other works offer interesting perspectives too.

The majority of performances are by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under Leif Segerstam. All the performances are special… © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Stephen Eddins, November 2011

This album compiles some of his greatest hits and makes a good introduction for anyone coming to his music for the first time. This may not be a fully representative sampling of the composer’s expressive range, but it makes a good starting point, especially for listeners who tend to be hesitant about exploring “modern” music. The performances, by the Helsinki Philharmonic and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, featuring the distinguished soloists pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy and clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, are very fine. The sound of the recordings, taken from Ondine’s large catalogue of the composer’s works, is clear, clean, spacious, and atmospheric. Read complete review

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