This new album with Iiro Rantala and “The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen” will be available by the end of the month. I was fortunate to contribute some arrangements and I’m really excited that this is documented on a CD.
………….And there’s more. Strictly speaking, the album should be called “Playing Gershwin and Rantala”, because there are also five shorter pieces by the Finnish pianist himself. These are tunes from earlier albums by the pianist, in which he references classical musicians or styles. “What Comes Up, Must Come Down”, for example, is a take on Franz Liszt’s romantic piano virtuosity, and this orchestral version brings glorious technicolor to it. “Anyone With A Heart” is Rantala’s personal bow to Mozart. “Hard Score” is like a movie theme, drawing inspiration from Arabic and world music. And, of course, the tango – which is also heard in the previous pieces – is unavoidable. In his youth in Tango-mad Finland, Rantala was more or less inhaling it every day, and playing it on countless gigs: “A Concert Tango” is not so reminiscent of Argentinian tango, but rather the more robust classical tango that is incredibly popular in Finland.