This album is intended as a tribute to Finnish composer Jukka Tiensuu, featuring small-ensemble and solo works from 1975 to 2007. Tiensuu's style apparently changed quite a bit over this period, but certain traits persist through most of the album: an interest in developing textures over a slow, steady pulse, reference to jazz idioms, interaction between electronic and acoustic elements, sheer experiment. The accordion, shorn of its popular connotations, is one of Tiensuu's specialties, and the five movements from Erz (2007) provide an introduction to his diverse style; each one explores a single emotion or musical procedure, unfolding slowly from a set of basic materials. The Tombeau de Beethoven (track 13), composed in 1980, stands a bit apart from the rest of the music on the album; it's a madcap set of Beethoven quotations joined together. The 1995 work oddjob illustrates Tiensuu's way of pushing electronics into a traditional chamber context, while Beat (1997), for clarinet, cello, and piano has hints of minimalism. A diverting introduction to a composer not well known outside of Finland, nicely recorded in Super Audio sound.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Erz, for accordion|