Music Reviews

Iiro Rantala String Trio

Anyone With a Heart



Formats available: CD

I have just listened to the album of the year, and it’s only the end of January. It will be nigh on impossible to convey the sheer beauty of this album and the talent of the trio that weave their magic and musical spell across its tracks. To get the measure of the euphonic bliss, try to conjure the following; imagine Bella Bartók playing his music to an arrangement by Nino Rota accompanied by a Bill Evans.

This magical album was created by the very considerable talents of Iiro Rantala (piano), Adam Baldych (violin) and Asja Valcic (cello). If this has made your eyes roll and your nose twitch, fear not, the combination of instruments never sounds strange or pretentious. The music moves in an effortless way from the first note and merges from one style into another. Track one starts with strumming of violin and cello that sound funky, track two veers from jazz to what for some may sound like a long forgotten Bartók piano concerto, and meanders into a thingymajig that is reminiscent of a peasant violin tune captured by Dvorak, only not at all like it. All the while Rantala is manoeuvring his piano from a semi gospel blues to classical to a hint of New Orleans boogie-woogie. On and on it continues, with minuets and blues riffs contrasted by olde worlde Viennese violins, and cello bass notes and strumming. All done with cheek, wit and talent that makes the noisy din of bad news and TV reality shows go away and an involuntary smile to settle for a duration. Only the last two tracks of the album give way to a gentle and very slow style which hijacks the fun, but hearts are not always happy. As sound quality goes this album doesn’t break any new ground when it comes to either transparency or three dimensionality, but it is adequate.

Beg, steal or borrow if you must or just order your copy instead. Do not miss the chance to enjoy and experience music on a scale one only gets to hear once in a blue moon. This is not an album you sit and listen to, Anyone With a Heart affirms and confirms that music benefits to your sanity and wellbeing. Still not convinced? Seek professional help and get your head examined. Other than that I don’t have any strong opinions about it.

Reuben Klein

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