Klami: Symphony No 1, Etc / Ollila, Tampere Po

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“The first thing to be said is that there is nothing in the symphony to remind one of Sibelius.” So opines Helena Tyrvainen in her notes on Uuno Klami’s First Symphony (1937-8), but for many listeners even the most casual acquaintance will suggest quite the contrary. Granted the form and structure of Klami’s work has little to do with any of Sibelius’s seven, even the First with which it shares an awareness of nineteenth-century Russian symphonism. Klami adopts a lyric, non-epic approach, closer in spirit to Melartin’s earlier symphonies, or even Madetoja. None the less, the language is reminiscent of Sibelius, even to the use of pulsing horn chords and pedals, and brought to my mind the minor tone-poems and incidental music, for instance the Dance Intermezzo or Swanwhite. That said, there are as many traces of Russian music (rather more dear to Klami’s heart), and in the finale a passage that would not be out of place in Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.

Klami was a noted exponent of neo-classicism, but you would scarcely know that from either the symphony or the later King Lear Overture (1944-5; the third piece Klami composed on this Shakespearean subject). I am not sure I would have guessed the subject from the music, which has a generally tragic-dramatic atmosphere. The performances and recording are both splendid; a valuable addition to the catalogue."

-- Gramophone [3/1996]


Product Description:


  • Catalog Number: ODE854


  • UPC: 761195085424


  • Label: Ondine


  • Composer: Uuno Klami


  • Conductor: Tuomas Ollila


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra