The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Prize-winning Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara has died at 87 | July 30, 2016

By Jacob Stockinger

He was a contemporary composer who wasn’t afraid to change or adapt his compositional style in radically differently ways, and who found a broad public as well as great respect from fellow composers and performers.

He was Einojuhani Rautavaara (below, in a photo from Getty Images), who was considered the most important composer of his country since Jean Sibelius, and he died at 87 this past week.

einojuhani rautavaara GETTY IMAGES

Here is a fine summary and obituary by Tom Huizenga for the Deceptive Cadence blog on NPR or National Public Radio.

And here, in the YouTube video below, is the piece, complete with recorded bird songs recorded by the composer — Cantus Arcticus, Op, 61, from 1972 — that Rautavaara is perhaps best known for. It is also the piece that his fellow Finn, conductor Osmo Vanska, now the music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, says he most admires.

1 Comment »

  1. Yes, Sounds very much like Sibelius, maybe too much, at 17:19: Swan of Tuonela.

    Another nice composition of his is his Symphony #7, “Angel of Light”.

    He also sounds, with his mystical/religious overtones/emphasis on nature, a lot like Alan Hovhaness. Hovhaness worked closely with Sibelius, was a good friend, and saw Sibelius as a source of inspiration, so it is not surprising.

    Here’s a link to the first movement of his Symphony #7

    Comment by fflambeau — July 30, 2016 @ 2:01 am

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