Paavo Heininen Discantus II Lecture Recital

This is a recital lecture that I gave as part of "The Art and Research of Music" course, spring 2017, at the Sibelius Academy.  The recital lecture was given on May 10 2017.


Learning to Listen: Finnish Modernism through Paavo’s Heininen’s Discantus II (1969) for solo clarinet

Through the musical presentation of Paavo’s Heininen’s Discantus II for solo clarinet, I will introduce compositional aspects that define “Finnish modernism” as a genre, and touch upon some useful tools for helping audiences listen to modern classical music. Paavo Heininen is often referred to as the “father” of Finnish modernism, and he has taught many of the most well-known Finnish composers today, including Magnus Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho, Jukka Tiensuu, Jouni Kaipainen, and Veli-Matti Puumala. It is fitting, then, that we examine his compositions as a tool to understanding the development of Finnish modernism as a genre. The work Discantus II is from Heininen’s dodecaphonic period of composition and features experimentations in melody and polyphony. Its short length, reduced instrumentation, and compositional structure make it a good introductory piece for discussing how to listen to late 20th century classical music.

Key words: Paavo Heininen, solo clarinet, Discantus II, Finnish modernism, dodecaphony, 12-tone technique, modern music


The video was made for personal use only. The video ends towards the end of the recital, before the discussion that followed.


For reference (and because I occasionally step out of the screen), slides from the presentation can be found below.


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Lucy Abrams