Kaveli Aho Concertos Receive Outstanding Performances

This work presents a pair of deuces by Kaveli Aho — his second violin concerto and his second cello concerto. In a way, it’s an all-star cast of performers.

 Elina Vähälä was the violinist who commissioned the concerto. Both concertos were written with the Kymi Sinfonietta specifically in mind. And Olari Elts worked with Aho in developing these works.

These artists have significant investments in this music. And that translates into some stellar performances. 

Aho had started his second violin concerto when the commissioning artist withdrew from the project. It lay fallow for a few years. Then Elina Vähälä asked Aho not only for a concerto but specifically the one he had already started. 

The result is an incredibly challenging — and incredibly beautiful — work. The violinist alternates passages with the orchestra, and that’s a good thing. Aho wrote in an abundance of double stops and left-hand extensions. Those interludes provide welcome and much-needed breaks for the soloist. 

Elina Vähälä is an exceptional performer. This is music that she’s internalized. Her playing sounds more like a monologue than a series of notes. She’s telling a story — the story that’s embedded in the music.

The Cello Concerto No. 2 is a more contemplative work. Here the orchestra and soloist work collaboratively. Jonathan Rooseman is a fine soloist. His cello has a clean, clear sound that penetrates even the thickest orchestration. And he handles Aho’s technical challenges with seeming aplomb. 

Kaveli Aho is a prolific composer. And one who always delivers. Another great release from BIS. Keep ’em coming.

Kaveli Aho: Violin Concerto No. 2; Cello Concerto No. 2
Elina Vähälä, violin; Jonathan Rooseman, cello
Kymi Sinfonietta; Olari Elts, conductor
BIS 2466

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