Thursday, December 21, 2006

'Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra' by Kimmo Hakola

21 December 2006

This week I have been listening to the 'Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra' by the contemporary Finnish composer, Kimmo Hakola (a recording by Kari Kriikku - for whom the work was written - and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sakari Oramo). This is an amazing piece of music: the first movement is fast, spiky, serious, aggressive, contemporary classical music - fine but unremarkable - but then the work gets progressively stranger and more interesting. The second movement has some lovely gentle tunes and strays towards a film music sound. In the third and fourth movements we get a mixture of klezmer, blues, Balkan gypsy music and sounds from the Middle East as well as the orchestra muttering and mumbling to each other to create the sound of a crowd. When I first started to listen to the recording I soon drifted off to do something else leaving the music playing in the background but after a while found myself rushing back to find out what was going on! It must very exciting to it see performed live - and, I suspect, even more so to play it.

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