Timo Väänänen

1998: Finlandia 3984-23072-2

  1. Pienet Veitikat / Funny Little Rascals
  2. Blinda Kalles Vals / Blind Kalle’s Waltz
  3. Koko Maailman Polkka / Polka for the Whole World
  4. Hambo
  5. Kerenski
  6. Kirkonkellot / Churchbells
  7. Ruskova
  8. Polskaa / Polska
  9. Laulu / A Song
  10. La Cuquita
  11. Viileri / Wheels

This is among other things a beautiful album to watch sky and birds to. “Kirkonkellot” is especially beautiful, being an almost Cubist portrayal of Finnish churchbells…at times I find it rapturously consuming, and then it brings a flood of tears of joy to my eyes. I’m also arrested by “Ruskova” in particular, as well as the gracefully emotional (and deceptively named) “Polskaa” and its lush expansions, which I find profoundly moving; there are musical dramas presented which compel me quite intensely. “Laulu” is an entirely appropriate followup, a much simpler and more somber afterthought to the intensity of “Polskaa,” and it brings us back to the album’s gentler level.

I’d enjoyed his work as a member of the Finnish group Loituma, but what a treat it was to get a whole album showcasing his magical kantele playing, especially on “Kirkonkellot” and “Polskaa.” What a fantastic musician…. (On a less lofty note, Timo is awfully gorgeous.)