Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols (King’s College, Cambridge): Einojuhani Rautavaara – Christmas Carol (World Première)

by 5:4


This year’s commission at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge was from the renowned Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara. Modal shifts early on in his piece, Christmas Carol, actually sound a bit like Vaughan Williams, but swiftly take on a more familiarly Scandinavian quality (to my mind, often redolent of the Icelandic composer Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson). Boldly opting for homophonic writing throughout, Rautavaara allows the narrative of his text to predominate, weaving a work that is both a story and an exhortation; the constant chordal writing has an undeniable heaviness to it, but Rautavaara’s colourful harmonies keep it fresh.


Anonymous December 26, 2010 • 20:56 - 20:56

Not knowing I might find here, I laid out several wires across my study and shifted around the furniture only to record the broadcast in stereo on the World Service via satellite …

Thanks very much for posting, and indeed for your interesting blog throughout the year. Merry Christmas!


Martin December 27, 2010 • 15:55 - 15:55

Merry Christmas and thank you very much from the Netherlands.

Anonymous January 2, 2011 • 03:43 - 03:43

Was there in person. Basically my imoression was the whole thing sounded better in the radio, or was this year service was shaky? The treble solo started nicely but then his voice started dwindling. Sometimes the choir and the organ sounded like they're chasing each other. Some of the lessons readers were barely audible. Was not that impressed of this year's performance.


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