Finnish 21 year old Esa Ruoho (also known under his 'Lackluster' moniker) already had releases on Defocus and the Squadron compilation (Merck). Now it's time to move on with a release on the acclaimed U-Cover imprint which drifts into complex ambient and intimate drones sparsely curved by fase-shifting rhythms. Excursion into dark and moody soundscapes, desolate frozen places and old forgotten stories.
Renowned as one of the world's leading conductors, Esa-Pekka Salonen is also a gifted composer of highly expressive, colorful, and idiomatic music that has found a growing audience. His Violin Concerto (2009) won the 2012 Grawemeyer Prize and was composed for Leila Josefowicz, who performs as soloist with Salonen and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra on this Deutsche Grammophon release. The dazzling virtuosity of the violin part translates into equally flashy writing for the orchestra, and it's apparent that Salonen wrote with a conductor's ear for all the instruments' capabilities, not primarily for the violin above an indifferent accompaniment.
Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, (Sami language Áillohaš, also kown as "Ailu") (March 23 1943 - November 26 2001) was a Saami writer, musician and artist of Finnish citizenship born in Enontekiö in the Finnish part of Lapland. Significant portions of his life he lived in Käsivarsi, close to the border to Sweden, and also in Skibotn in Norway. It is sometimes said that Valkeapää is the Sami person who is most well known internationally. Valkeapää was born in a family of the traditional trade of herding reindeer, but was trained as a school teacher. The traditional sami singing yoik was important in his art, in music as well as in painting and in writing…
Esa-Pekka Salonen’s restless innovation drives him constantly to reposition classical music in the 21st century. He is currently the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and the Conductor Laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was Music Director from 1992 until 2009. This season is his second of three as the Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic, and his first of five years as Artist in Association at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet.
La Passion de Simone is an oratorio for solo soprano, choir, orchestra, and electronics by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. Originally premiered in a stage version directed by Peter Sellars, this oratorio about the life and work of French philosopher Simone Weil, has been developed in a new version for live video by Jean-Baptiste Barriere. This new version premiered at the occasion of the 60th birthday celebration of Kaija Saariaho, offered to her as a surprise gift in Helsinki’s Musikkitalo earlier this month.
Issued to celebrate Esa-Pekka Salonen’s time with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (he is now their first ever conductor laureate), this valuable disc really points us to how important Salonen may be seen one day as a composer. Although he reputedly sees his conducting activities as bill-paying ones, he is nevertheless ultra-high profile (he is presently principal conductor and artistic advisor of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra).