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Program Note

Kimmo Hakola:
Kimmo Hakola came to the attention of the Finnish public with his First String Quartet (1986), which was nominated by the UNESCO composer' rostrum in 1987. He won the same nomination again in 1993 with Capriole for clarinet and cello, premiered by Kari Kriikku and Anssi Karttunen at the Huddersfield Festival in 1991.

Capriole was made to move and change, but the work is more breezy and brilliant than hectic and aggressive. The music chugs on like the Orient Express, throwing somersaults on the way like the title indicates. The monolithic impression is alleviated by unison sequences whose dissonant chatter seems never to actually go anywhere.

Then, when the listener has finally managed to find a focus in the music, the flow is interrupted by a fantastic scene where the composer dishes out a generous helping of pseudo-Mongolian folk music. The cello too, after a moment's hesitation, joins in this nostalgic moment of pining for the Gobi Desert. The kinetic energy is still there, but the geographic coordinates are completely reshuffled.

Such surprises, which have become Hakola's hallmark in the 1990s, are always underpinned by poetic content and a confident overall form. His solid technique enables him to explore the world of sounds and phenomena freely. In Capriole, the surprising diversion is closed with a terse final statement.

—Antii Hayrynen