Einojuhani Rautavaara
Angel of Light (Symphony No. 7)

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Leif Segerstam, conductor
Kari Jussila, organ

Finnish contemporary



Booklet with liner notes written by the composer, in English, German, French and Finnish; slipcase


April 1996

Catalogue No.:
ODE 869-2


Track listing

CD 65:27
Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016)
Symphony No. 7 "Angel of Light" (1994) 37:55
1 I. Tranquillo 12:01
2 II. Molto allegro 5:53
3 III. Come un sogno 10:13
4 IV. Pesante - cantabile 9:40
5 Concerto for Organ, Brass Quintet and Symphonic Wind Orchestra "Annunciations" (1977) 27:22

Also recommended...


Cannes Classical Award 1997
Gramophone 'Editor's Choice'
Fono Forum 'Stern des Monats'

Press review

The Helsinki orchestra under Leif Segerstam are eminently well served by the Ondine engineers.
The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs, 1997/8 Edition

Leif Segerstam guides the Helsinki Philharmonic through magnificently convincing readings of both works in the acoustically ideal Finlandia Hall, with the organ soloist, Kari Jussila, doing a knock-out job in Annunciations. The whole recording is demonstration quality from start to finish. Don't miss it!
David Hall, Stereo Review, October 1996, Best of the Month

Leif Segerstams Klangsinn, seine schwelgerische Beherrschung des grossen Apparats sind hier optimal plaziert.
Christoph Schlüren, Fono Forum, September 1996, Stern des Monats

If there is any justice in the music world, Ondine's release of two contrasting symphonic works should convince more conductors to program Rautavaara's music. They would, I'm sure, find a ready and enthusiastic public for it.
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, June 30, 1996

Kari Jussila rises to the various challenges set for him with what sounds like genuine enthusiasm (...) while Leif Segerstam and the Helsinki Philharmonic fully exploit the tonal drama of both works.
Gramophone, June 1996, Editor's Choice

Kari Jussila is the thrilling soloist in a sensitively balanced recording.
Annette Morreau, BBC Music Magazine, June 1996, Pick of the Month, Performance ****/ Sound *****

Complete description

This fourth release in a cycle of Einojuhani Rautavaara's complete symphonies couples the Finnish composer's most successful symphonic work, Angel of Light, with the concerto for organ, brass quintet and symphonic wind orchestra, Annunciations. Leif Segerstam conducts the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.

The seventh symphony was commissioned by the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 1995. It completes Rautavaara's 'Angels Series' which includes the orchestral work Angels and Visitations (1978) and the double bass concerto Angel of Dusk (1980). Annunciations was composed in 1976-77 for the Stockholm Organ Festival, and the triple forces required by the instrumentation were proposed by the commissioning organisation. Its first Finnish performance inspired a critic to write about the Finale that it brought to mind the Pasolini film in which "drunken noblemen roll around on the keyboard of an organ." The virtuoso organ part is performed by soloist Kari Jussila at the organ of Helsinki's Finlandia Hall.

This recording became an international best-seller and spurred Rautavaara to considerable international fame, including in 1997 a GRAMMY nomination and a Cannes Classical Award as 'Best Disc of Music by a Living Composer'.