CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FOR GUITAR
Leo Brouwer, Toshio Hosokawa, Ilkka Turta
ILKKA TURTA, guitar
World Premiere Recordings
REVIEWSWatch on YouTube: Toshio Hosokawa - Sakura, Komori-uta
Watch on YouTube: J.S.Bach - 2nd Violin Partita in D-minor, BWV1004
“Turta’s 10 [Etudes] range from soft and lyrical to strong and dramatic. They show the full measure of the guitarist’s ability. Turta has an incredibly beautiful tone when he plays lyrical music and his studies reveal the lyric palette of a master colorist. Some of these short works begin as though rain or snowflakes are falling softly onto the surface of a lake. There are contrasting dramatic sections and passages that could encourage meditation. This composer is a fine craftsman and it would be easy to become addicted to his lyrical sonorities. Although his name is new to most of us, he has total mastery of the guitar… [Guitarist] Elena Papandreou made a comparable recording [to this] on Naxos in 2002, on which she plays Brouwer’s music exactly as he wrote it with no further interpretation. It’s interesting, but I do not think it compares with Turta’s well-thought-out version. Also, the sound is nowhere near as clear and present on the Naxos as it is on Turta’s 2013 MSR Classics recording. Composer Toshio Hosokawa writes: “I am searching for a new form of Japanese spiritual culture and music, one through which I can remain true to myself as well as to my origins.” [His songs] are simple and evoke an ethereal beauty that Turta fulfills with the overtly beautiful tone quality of his lyrical playing. This recording is a true gem that belongs in the home of every fancier of modern guitar music.”
Maria Nockin, Issue 37:5 Fanfare [May/June 2014]
[ * * * ½ ] Excellent pieces played to perfection in rather muddied sound. “…incisive and lustrous sound… Turta, himself a Finnish national with a flaming technique, brings a vast amount of intelligence to this recital… His own opus, the Etudes are quite ripe with lots of melodic snippets easily assimilated and remembered, with a good degree of concentrated tone painting deliberately based on imagery.“
Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition [March 2014]
"From the vast group of Finnish guitarists, Turta stands out with his tone… the two Japanese songs by Toshio Hosokawa, in their meditative feel and slow pace, create an almost magical ending to the CD… the [recorded] sound is lively, intimate and retro in a nice way…"
Finland YLE Radio 1 [November 2013]
PROGRAM NOTESMy Etudes I-X were written in 2011, as a part of my thesis for the Turku University of Applied Sciences. The idea was to write new material for talented young guitarists studying at the conservatory and the music institute level. While composing each etude I had my basis on different subjects feeding me the mental images found around the subject in case, and helping the process of composing. The etudes are also named after these subjects. One of the goals in my compositions is that the players could find the imagery existing in music, and also to learn how to use it, as a supporting element of one's interpretations and practicing.
El Decamerón Negro by Leo Brouwer is the first piece I ever played that was composed to a written story. (Naturally, every song has its story, but this one I could actually read!). I immediately fell in love with it - both the written story and the musical one. Inspired by African folk-tales collected by anthropologist Leo Frobenius, El Decamerón Negro illustrates the stories in the most beautiful way. I don´t know if I´ve expressed the images in my interpretations as Leo Brouwer imagined them, but that’s the beauty of music, isn´t it? We all find our own world when interpreting or listening to music,as in our dreams.
Toshio Hosokawa’s Sakura and Komori-uta were introduced to me by my teacher, Timo Korhonen, several years ago. The works were totally different from anything I had ever played before. The peace and calmness that can be found in these songs – and how it effects you – is something that, I think, is a valuable treasure for today´s hectic people in our harried world. Hosokawa’s music is in space, but it also gives you space. The works breathe, allowing you to breathe. Based on Japanese folk songs, these pieces are in their own way the most beautiful I´ve ever played.
Born in Turku, Finland, in 1987, Ilkka Turta began his musical journey with the guitar in 1997 with Matti Sillanpää. He subsequently studied classical guitar with Risto Vuorinen at the Turku Music Institute, and afterwards at the Turku Music Academy under the guidance of Timo Korhonen, Ismo Eskelinen and Jyrki Myllärinen. Turta regularly gives both solo and chamber music recitals, and has performed in London, Athens, St. Petersburg, Brussels, Tallin and in his native Finland, among many others. His programs consist of music from the Renaissance to the music of our time, including works by J.S. Bach, Brouwer, Da Milano, Giuliani, Hosokawa, Mertz, Moreno-Torroba, Mudarra, Sor, Suilamo, Tárrega, Turina and Villa-Lobos. Recent chamber music collaborations have included the Autio & Turta guitar duo with guitarist Kalle Autio and the Elise & Her Mans guitar trio with Elise Hermans and Kalle Autio. As a part of a tour of Europe 2012, the trio gave the world premiere of Hitaita Rakeita by Finnish composer Tapio Nevanlinna. Turta is also active in popular music as a member of the “Proggae” group Kaikukasti, and has worked as a theater musician in musical and puppetry projects. Ilkka Turta plays a Stauffer guitar from 1910/1911 (builder unknown), and a modern guitar made by Kauko Liikanen.
PROGRAMILKKA TURTA (b.1987)
ETUDES I-X (2011)
WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING
Korsika / Corsica
Ennustaja / The Prophet
La Traviata / La Traviata
Merimatka / Crossing of the Seas
Kleopatra / Cleopatra
Poika / Kiddo
Harharetket / An Odyssey
Rahapata / The Pot of Gold
Riidankylväjä / The Hate Monger
Kuilu / A Gap
LEO BROUWER (b.1939)
EL DECAMERÓN NEGRO (1981)
El Arpa del Guerrero
La Huída de los Amantes Por el Valle de los Ecos
Balada de la Doncella Enamorada
TOSHIO HOSOKAWA (b.1955)
TWO JAPANESE SONGS (2004)