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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rautavaara, "Marjatta the Lowly Maiden," Works for Children's Choir

The Tapiola Choir under Pasi Hyokki presents a program of Rautavaara's works for children's choir on Marjatta the Lowly Maiden (Ondine 1169-2). The Marjatta mystery play and the Children's Mass (Lapsimessu) form substantial bookends for the program, between which are a number of shorter incidental works. Sonorically delightful acapella sounds occupy a good portion of the program, with effective selected instrumental parts dotting "Marjatta" and a moving string orchestra part (by the Tapiola Youth Symphony Orchestra) sharing space with the choir on the "Children's Mass."

The choir sounds lovely, the bookend works give us rich examples of Rautavaara's 1970's style, and the incidental works shed additional light and give pleasure. It's an unusual but very enjoyable program, and should appeal to a wide spectrum of music lovers.

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