Iiro Rantala: Mozart, Bernstein, Lennon | ACT Music ACT98682

Iiro Rantala: Mozart, Bernstein, Lennon


Currently out of stock at the UK suppliers. Available to order, but is likely to take longer than usual to despatch

Label: ACT Music

Cat No: ACT98682

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 27th April 2018



Long before he had heard the whole of Mozart's C major Piano Concerto, Finnish jazz pianist Iiro Rantala had known the Andante. "The second movement" he explains, "is on the soundtrack to the James bond film 'The Spy who Loved Me'. It's the scene where they show you the underwater city - and it's my absolute favourite Bond film."

It was not until several years later the Rantala heard the whole concerto at a concert. When he did, he immediately fell in love with the piece. "The opening movement has something magical about it, it's just a fantastic melody - and the music evolves as naturally as breathing." His enthusiasm is evident: "All the themes, harmonies and rhythms of the work are composed with such perfection, it is almost preternatural."

The pianist, who is also classically trained, had always dreamed of performing this concerto, so it was no surprise that when the opportunity came, he seized it with enthusiasm. It happened in 2017 at jazzahead! in Bremen in Germany. As a prominent representative of jazzahead!'s partner country Finland, Rantala was invited to devise the programme for the gala concert. This is the live recording of that event.

"I would really like to rip down the barriers which continue to keep jazz and classical music apart - an I am convinced that we are on the right track with a common project like this." Rantala predicts that any separation of the genres will have ceased to exist in a few decdes' time - and the other pieces on this recording follow that principle: there are, for example, solo interpretations of Bernstein's Candide Overture and Lennon's Imagine, as well as arrangements of Rantala's own compositions with orchestral accompaniment.

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