Although composed 14 years later, Kalevi Aho's Alles vergängliche - Symphony for Organ (2007) owes its existence to the Eighth Symphony (1993). After having played the organ part in a 2005 performance of that work, the Finnish organ virtuoso Jan Lehtola approached the composer urging him to write a big, multi-movement work for solo organ. Although the organ symphony has been an established genre since composers such as Charles-Marie Widor and Louis Vierne, Aho has patterned his own work on the orchestral symphony, continuing the tradition of symphonic development. All of the work's musical material is related, and at the end of the finale a synthesis of it all is achieved, in what can best be described as a highly intricate - and virtuosic - ‘quadruple fugue'. The work's subtitle, Alles Vergängliche (‘All that is perishable'), comes from the end of Goethe's Faust, and alludes to the symphony's Faustian character, reaching for the heavens, and also to its ending, as the music dies away into inaudibility.
Recording: BIS-1946 SACD / Jan Lehtola