A to Z: R is for Einojuhani Rautavaara

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0 Today is day 18 of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge in which I attempt to blog every day (excepting Sundays) throughout the month of April. For this challenge, I am curating a collection of “classical” music pieces, which are lesser known or by lesser known composers (to me at least).Today’s composer is Einojuhani Rautavaara (b. 1928).

I love doing this A-Z Challenge about composers going by last name. It’s so serendipitous: I just scroll through the list of composers by name on Wikipedia and under the letter of the alphabet for that day, I skim the list until someone catches my eye. Today, Rautavaara’s name rose above the others and I was delighted to have found this Finnish Composer I’d never encountered before. He studied at the Sibelius Academy in his native Helsinki and after graduating studied at Julliard and later at Tanglewood with Aaron Copland and Roger Sessions. He’s explored almost every type of 20th Century musical forms, and has synthesized them into something unique. Here are two pieces which show his versatility. The piano concerto sounds delightfully discordant while the concerto for birds is lush, rhapsodic and engaging. Quite a find, I’d say. Very grateful to discover him, today.

Piano Concerto #1 First Movement by Einojuhani Rautavaara

Here is another interesting piece, called Concerto for Birds and Orchestra. The composer taped the birds and then composed the work to accompany them.

The composer’s Wikipedia page Einojuhani Rautavaara

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