Solitudes: Baltic Reflections

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 of these works, which also reveal intriguing stylistic connections: the rocking accompaniment of Sibelius’s Einsames Lied seems to prefigure the ‘Baltic minimalism’ of Vasks, Pärt and Zita Bružaitė, 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 line-up of five strings and piano, and the programme culminates in a truly unique version of Sibelius’s famous Finlandia Hymn.

"an outstanding performance of Kalevi Aho's spellbinding Lamento...[Sibelius] is rendered here with uncanny wit and grace"

"Full marks for originality of concept and for execution, which has all this ensemble's trademark style and communicative nous, and for a fascinating booklet-note by Ivan Moody"

"For the past 20 years, the imaginative unorthodoxy of Mr McFall's Chamber has singled it out as a flamboyant presence on the Scottish music scene...This anniversary CD isn't simply bells and whistles, but a serious focus on music for strings and piano"

"An imaginatively chosen, beautifully recorded programme starting and finishing in Finland...Performances do full justice to the project in a disc that is well worth exploring."

"All smartly performed, with pianist Maria Martinova deserving special praise. Warmly recorded too."

"Performances are beyond reproach, and each piece is dispatched with a curiously evocative elan that is as absorbing as it is enticing. A journey into the unknown with riveting discoveries at every turn. Worthy of serious investigation, but those with a penchant for the traditional should approach with caution."


"Mr McFall’s Chamber prove to be versatile and terrifically accomplished musicians on their new disc from Delphian Records"


Producer: Paul Baxter
Release Date: 30 October 2015
Catalogue No: DCD34156
Total playing time: 1:05:29

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