Kuru

Description

Considered as Virtaperko’s breakthrough piece, Kuru (2009) has received praise for its imaginative orchestration, its sensitive use of colour and its compositional craftmanship.

Kuru is characterized by a rich use of the natural harmonics of the strings, which gives the music a clear and transparent quality. The thirteen-minute work culminates with the key elements of Virtaperko’s orchestral thinking, where timbral and sonorous sensitivity, colourful orchestration and a strong sense of structure are the main focus.

Commissioned by the Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundation, Kuru takes its inspiration from nothern Lapland where various kinds of sheltered kuru ( ravine) provide vital and fertile soil for domestic flora to flourish during  Lapland’s extremely short growing season. This orchestral piece mirrors the impressions that can be experienced while hiking through the various kinds of valleys – vales, dells, hollows – of the Arctic region.


Instrumentation

for symphony orchestra, 2009

3 flutes (3rd doubling piccolo)
2 oboes
English horn (in F)
2 Clarinets (in Bb)
2 bassoons
Double bassoon

4 horns (in F)
3 trumpets (in C)
3 trombones
Tuba

Timpani
3 percussion

Harp
Celesta (doubling piano)

Strings 16/14/12/10/8


Press quotes

Virtaperko made a breakthrough

“The premiere of Kuru showed that Olli Virtaperko really knows how to write for a symphony orchestra… Virtaperko builds up the orchestration with precise craftsmanship achieving a delightful result… The moments of fragitlity, transparency and beauty worked out just great.”

– Vesa Sirén, Helsingin Sanomat 9 October 2009

 Atmospheres from Finland’s Ravel

“One could only admire the creatively elegant and well-crafted instrumentation of the piece. Virtaperko’s work shows great ability to be simultaneously intricute and accessibile and it is hard to believe that he has written only two orchestral works before Kuru Virtaperko is something of a Finnish Ravel because of his craftsmanship and the broad range of styles he employs. He is undoubtedly one of our most interesting and distinctive composers, a name to look out for the future.”

– Mats Liljeroos, Hufvudstadsbladet 9 October 2009

 

Score

Kuru Full Score (PDF)


Audio

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, cond. Okko Kamu
1:59 min excerpt


Details

Movements

Duration 13’

First performance 

7 October 2009
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, cond. Okko Kamu
Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, Finland

Commissioned by the Gösta Serlachius Fine Arts Foundations

Published by Music Finland


Performances 

Last performance 

7 October 2009
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, cond. Okko Kamu
Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, Finland

Upcoming performances 

Nordic Music Days
18 October 2013
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Baldur Brönnimann
Musiikkitalo, Helsinki