Nye skiver og bøker

flere skiver og bøker...

Våre podkaster

flere podkaster ...

Skiver du bør ha

flere anbefalte skiver...

Våre beste klipp

flere filmer...

Ledere og debattinnlegg

flere debattinnlegg...

På skive


ACT, 9946-2

«Potsdam», just like Keith Jarrett called his solo piano album, is, surprisingly, the first time that one of Finnish pianist Iiro Rantala’s many live solo recitals has been released as an album by ACT. The album was recorded at Nikolaisaal Potsdam in November 2011, a day after the passing of the great composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, and acknowledges his seminal influence. But «Potsdam», first and all, present all aspects of Rantala as a creative and imaginative musician and improviser, way beyond the Common Nordic Noir clichés, with an impressive idiomatic and emotional range, and, obviously, an eccentric and quite engaging, Finnish sense of humor.  Rantala suggests – in his liner notes – that the title of this album is all about exposing visitors from another planet to the music of our world at Nikolaisaal Potsdam.

Rantala knows well how to offer an inspiring and diverse program. He begins the recital with the beautiful, lyrical melody of «Twentytwentyone», but immediately after this thoughtful introduction jumps to the cartoonish «Time for Rag», sounding like the accompanying a madcap Buster Keaton film. The introspective meditation «Peace» is followed by the ironic and fast-fingered wizardry play on hard-bop tunes «Can You Be Bob?».

«Freedom» – one of the most popular pieces in Rantala’s songbook – distills the essence of Rantala’s solo piano recital, and here he places a towel on the piano strings and improvises on the piano as it was a twisted harpsichord. John Lennon’s «Woman» (from Rantala’s homage «My Working Class Hero», ACT, 2015), pays respects to R&B pianist Richard Tee (who played with Aretha Franklin, George Harrison, Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon, among many others). «November» (from «My Finnish Calendar», ACT, 2019) introduces a reserved touch of Nordic melancholia.

Rantala concluded this recital with a virtuoso and amusing cover of Leonard Bernstein’s «Candide», an ironic and amusing play of Bernstein – and Rantala – on the operettas of Offenbach and Gilbert and Sullivan. The encore is another of Bernstein’s compositions, «Somewhere» from «West Side Story», played in memory of Sondheim who wrote the lyrics for the musical, and Rantala adds that this musical “is one of the greatest achievements of mankind”. And like Sondheim, Rantala knows how to enchant his audience, and make the audience laugh, cry and feel.

Eyal Hareuveni

Iiro Rantala (p)

Skriv et svar