Works for Solo Piano
• Known for his orchestral output - 16 symphonies and 21 concertos to date! - Finnish composer Kalevi Aho was recently described in Gramophone as having 'a strong claim to the title of greatest living symphonist'. • But Aho has also composed a large number of works for smaller forces - quartets and quintets, duos and solo pieces. • On the present disc, the Finnish pianist Sonja Fraki presents Aho's output for solo piano, comfortably fitting on one disc, but nevertheless spanning some 30 years of a long career. • The disc opens with his earliest published work, the Nineteen Preludes from 1965-68, written before the composer had begun any formal studies of either composition or the piano. • As in much of his other music, the works for piano display his characteristic fascination with the virtuosic and technically brilliant side of music-making. • On the present disc, this quality comes to the fore in the Sonata, with it's sparkling first movement and percussive, toccata-like second movement followed by a searching Tranquillo molto, characterized by a trill which continues almost without interruption throughout the movement. • Solo II is likewise a challenge for any pianist, forming part of a series of big (roughly ten-minute) solo works for various instruments, several of which have been recorded by BIS.