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Kalevi Aho (b.1949) is a prominent and prolific Finnish composer whose considerable oeuvre includes no fewer than 15 symphonies and four operas. The eighth of these symphonies includes a large-scale organ part and provides the musical material for the Three Interludes recorded here.

Aho’s Organ Symphony, ‘Alles Vergängliche’ (All that is Perishable), composed in 2007, is largely influenced by Aho’s experience of composing large-scale orchestral works. At 52 minutes, this is an important and virtuosic addition to the organ literature and Aho’s ability to paint vast, dramatic landscapes is impressive. The composer’s debt to neo-classicism is especially evident in the complex fugal writing of the second and fourth movements.

Jan Lehtola’s typically committed and accomplished playing provides Aho with a first-rate advocate and the 2008 Åkerman & Lund organ (incorporating pipework from 1907) speaks with a convincingly symphonic voice in the Scandinavian sense; think throaty reeds and choruses with a distinctive ‘cornetty’ roar.

CHRISS BRAGG Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Choir & Organ, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing