Notes & Reviews:
To celebrate the 50th birthday of Finnish cellist Karttunen his wife and colleague wrote to composers with whose music he had been working. They asked each to write a variation on the Chiacona per basso solo, the earliest work written for cello. Karttunen agreed to perform the music before he had seen it, hence the title Mystery Variations.
American Record Guide, May/June 2013
The results are full of variety and different techniques, of course. Most wrote imaginative variations that Karttunen plays with an ability to change styles yet hold the entire 80-minute collection together. If you can take this much modern music at a stretch, this is quite a convincing experience. The cellist writes very helpful descriptions of each variation, complete with the birth year of each composer. They were born between 1926 and 1979. And that is all I'm going to tell you about them. Over half of them are well known to this listener and the rest will surely turn up in our lives soon. It is a neat idea, played well and produced with care. Try it. Solve the mystery!
Recording information: Studio M2, Yleisradio, Helsinki, Finland (2011-03-07&2011-03-16&2011-).
Includes mystery variations (31) on the chiacona of giusepp by various composers.
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