No one knows quite when tango was established in Finland, but the style has a long history there – still little known to outsiders – and combines rhythmic interest and yearning melody with a distinctively Nordic melancholy. In this ingeniously curated programme, two Finnish tangos from the 1950s and a tango-based work by Finnish classical composer Aulis Sallinen are woven into a bold tapestry of music from the Eastern Baltic seaboard. Longing, sadness, and a heightened sense of nature infuse all these works, which also reveal intriguing stylistic connections: the rocking accompaniment of Sibelius’ Einsames Lied seems to prefigure the ‘Baltic minimalism’ of Vasks, Part, and Zita Bruzaite, while Olli Mustonen’s Toccata alternates rhythmic verve with a rich vein of reflective memory. These original compositions are complemented by Robert McFall’s own sensitive arrangements for a core McFall’s lineup of five strings and piano, and the programme culminates in a truly unique version of Sibelius’s famous Finlandia Hymn.
''An imaginatively chosen, beautifully recorded programme, starting and finishing in Finland: Olli Mustonen's Toccata is both searing and eloquent, while you may never have heard a musical saw in Sibelius's Finlandia Hymn. In between are fascinating gems from Sallinen, Tuur, Aho, Vasks and Part, seemingly without a weak piece among them. Performances do full justice to the project in a disc that is well worth exploring.' - Editor's Choice, Classical Music Magazine
Olli Mustonen, ToccataZita Bružaitė, Bangos for solo pianoAulis Sallinen, Introduction and Tango OvertureErkki-Sven Tüür, Dedication for cello and pianoKalevi Aho, Lamento for two violasPēteris Vasks, Little Summer Music for violin and pianoArvo Pärt, Für Alina for solo pianoToivo Kärki, TäysikuuJean Sibelius, Einsames Lied (Solitude)Unto Mononen, SatumaaJean Sibelius, Theme from Finlandia