Album: Hakola, Piano Concerto/ Sinfonietta, (Ondine)

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The Independent Culture

The long gestation of Kimmo Hakola's nine-movement Piano Concerto is reflected in its meandering stylistic breadth.

A reluctant modernist, Hakola laces sci-fi chords with odd flourishes of wit and splashes of Romanticism. A lyrical oboe solo springs from nowhere, to be followed by the astral shimmer of tuned percussion. Smart playing from pianist Henri Sigfridsson and the Tampere Philharmonic fails to disguise structural weaknesses. Bold and tight, Hakola's Sinfonietta is the stronger piece.

Pick of the album: Nasty, brutal and relatively short, Hakola's 1999 Sinfonietta

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