Late roses filled with early snow

Einojuhani Rautavaara (9 ottobre 1928 - 2016): Syksyiset puutarhat / Autumn Gardens per orchestra (1999). Helsingin kaupunginorkesteri (Orchestra filarmonica di Helsinki), dir. Vladimir Aškenazi.

I. Poetico
II. Tranquillo [10:39]
III. Giocoso e leggiero [15:47]

« I have often likened the composer to a gardener: both are observers and overseers of organic growth rather than builders or assemblers of ready parts and elements. I would, furthermore, like my compositions to resemble an English garden, free-growing and organic, as opposed to a French garden, geometrically trimmed in angular shapes. These sentiments are possibly due to the fact that the work was commissioned by a British orchestra for an English festival.
« The name of the work is a quotation from the libretto of my opera The House of the Sun: “like a butterfly in a dark autumn garden”. The motif to which these words are sung is the theme for the variations in the first movement. Their texture gradually grows and quickens. Following on without a break is a slow, poetic movement of even rhythms and dynamics. The quick, lively finale begins giocoso e leggiero. But autumn is also a time of colour, and of death. At the end the music thus turns into a festive dance con grandezza. Maybe it bears the echo of a sarabande to the dying splendour of summer – or as T. S. Eliot put it: “late roses filled with early snow”. »

Einojuhani Rautavaara