Aho / Eskelinen / Lapland Chamber Orchestra - Concerto Quintet & Contrapunctus (Hybr) | RECORD STORE DAY

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Although the Finnish composer Kalevi Aho is best known as a symphonist, his constantly expanding catalogue includes numerous concertos as well as countless chamber works and arrangements of works by other composers. This disc brings together works from these three genres.The Guitar Concerto, dedicated to Ismo Eskelinen, posed many challenges for Aho, who is not a guitarist himself. It is a seven-movement work exploring the different ways the guitar can be used - sometimes with far from traditional techniques - and exploring it's sonic possibilities. The Quintet for Horn and String Quartet was commissioned by Ilkka Puputti, who had previously premiered Aho's Solo X for horn. Particularly demanding for the soloist, the quintet explores various atmospheres, in turns mysterious, whimsical, dramatic and dance-like. Contrapunctus XIV from Johann Sebastian Bach's Art of the Fugue was left unfinished owing to the composer's declining health. As he was dissatisfied with previous attempts to complete it, Aho decided to write his own, aiming to remain true to Bach's style. This completion exists in several versions, including the one for string orchestra heard here, expertly performed by the Lapland Chamber Orchestra conducted by John Storgards.