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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

2004: New Visions, 2020 Vision

Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre / London / Music

Osmo Vänska’s beguiling lineup of collector’s items culminates in his compatriot Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Book of Visions, in four movements entitled “Tale of Night,” “Tale of Fire,” “Tale of Love,” and “Tale of Fate.” The composer is probably best known for his spare Cantus Articus (1972), incorporating audio of birds of the Far North, but don’t expect a replay. Visions (2004) exemplifies his late style, a supple fusion transcending the more easily classifiable neoclassicism, experimentalism, and neoromanticism he had explored along the way. Also on tap: Edward Elgar’s rapturous tone poem In the South; the second of 18 violin concertos by the shamefully neglected early Romantic Ludwig Spohr, who taught himself composition by studying the scores of Mozart and by the bye invented that fiddler’s godsend known as the chin rest; and Anton Webern’s sensuous pastorale Im Sommerwind (In the Summer Wind), an early, rather Wagnerian work preceding his indoctrination into the lean, esoteric Second Viennese School. —M.G.

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Royal Festival Hall Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8XX, United Kingdom
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