Review of Patrik Kleemola, Through Green Glass, Pilfink records, 2015
An entire CD dedicated to the music for guitar by Finnish composers. This is not something you can get everyday. It ‘s true that we live in a world that every day seems to get smaller thanks to the possibilities offered by global communication, but also for people like me who has carved out a specialized space about contemporary music it’s still difficult to follow a non-music scene as one of contemporary guitar. All the pieces of this disc were written for Patrik Kleemola between 2013 and 2015 , and in all these pieces you can get a a reflection of the range and the variety of his different qualities as guitarist. Also Kleemola has also played a significant role in the genesis of these songs: because he has commissioned these works himself, and because during the same process of composition, Kleemola has worked closely with composers, helping to solve any technical problem related the execution of these scores.
Mikko Heiniö (b. 1948) was one of the leading Finnish composers since the early 1980. The range of his compositional style is so vast that it has generally considered a postmodern composer; his guitar’s piece “Throught Green Glassr” (2014) consists of four interconnected parts tied together by a rhythm in 13/8. A little curiosity: the work was completed before Heiniö could find a name for it, later Heiniö found several ideas for the title of the piece; for example, “green as nature, clear and brittle as glass, the light filtered to certain frequencies of chromium oxide,” also referred to a girl named Ruby who writes on Twitter, “love looking through green glass and pretending I ‘m on a different planet “.
The other piece of Heiniö for the guitar, Five Preludes of 2013, that closes the CD and it’s a closely linked composition with the prelude’s traditional form, where each of its five movements has a unique structure and a particularly expressive character.
The starting point for Juha T. Koskinen (1972) is an expression’s mode that can be considered as Expressionism, Koskinen was fascinated by Japanese culture and has visited and stayed in Japan for long. His Taizokai guitar piece (2015) is a composition signed by clear Japanese inspiration. The track’s name first appears in Japanese characters in the score and refers to one of the mandala of the Shingon Buddhism, the mandala of the womb United. Koskinen describes the mandala in question as ” an ancient relic that continues to reveal something about the essence of the human psyche structure. “
Harri Suilamo (1954) has often expressed the ideals of modernism in his works. His compositions are often characterized by a density and a concentration closer to Webern; where his meticulous attention to detail and the central role of timbre, show central importance. His piece Biographie des Schmerzes – Bernhard-Fragmente (2015) has as a reference the Austrian author Thomas Bernhard (1931-1989). He is known as an uncompromising modernist, and in his works in the form of a monologue seems to plumb the darkest depths and the saddest of the human mind. “Biographie des Schmerzes” (biography of pain) is the title of one of Bernhard early poetry, but words can be interpreted as a broader reflection of his world and his work. The most distinctive feature of this passage is the use of microtonal intervals: the guitar has an unusual tuning, three of the strings are tuned a quarter-tone higher or lower than usual, while the lowest string is a semitone lower than usual . This creates an unreal, haunting tone, fragile as glass… vibrating mysteriously. Pertti Jalava (1960) began his career with the Jazz, but in 1990 expanded the scope of his interest in art music, which has since become the center of his work as a composer.
Brief Conversations on Nocturnal Roofs (2015) is a title intended to provide a prospective starting point for the listener for interpreting the piece, which is made up of six short movements, or six conversations that invoke different moods night. The length of the movements gradually grows up to the fifth movement, while the final movement presents a form even more compact.
Quadri Morandi (2014) ties together two essential themes of Kai Nieminen (1953) compositional style: guitar and a subject inspired by Italy. The strong presence of the guitar in his works is natural because he is at the same time composer and guitarist. Quadri Morandi’s passage is written in four movements. It has at its center the painter Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964), which is known as a master of still death and landscape paintings in a simple and soft colors and atmosphere of its four movements typically reflects a calm spirit that finishes with the rhythmic pattern that makes echo more than once the name of Morandi, as a signature. A very unique and interesting work, recommended for those who want to further expand their vision and their musical repertoire.
Mikko Heiniö (b. 1948)
Through Green Glass (2014)
Juha T. Koskinen (b. 1972)
Harri Suilamo (b. 1954)
Biographie des Schmerzes – Bernhard-Fragmente (2015)
Pertti Jalava (b. 1960)
Brief Conversations on Nocturnal Roofs (2015)
Kai Nieminen (b. 1953)
Quadri Morandi (2014)
II. Quasi cadenza
Five Preludes for guitar (2013)
Prelude nr. 1 Energico
Prelude nr. 2 Andante
Prelude nr. 3 Allegretto robusto
Prelude nr. 4 Largo
Prelude nr. 5 Con moto