Einojuhani Rautavaara passed away yesterday (July 28th, 2016). He left behind nine operas, eight symphonies, numerous concertos, choral works and chamber music in wide variety of styles from the neoclassical, neo-romantic, and serial works of his youth to a uniquely personal mature style. I’ve been fascinated by his music since I heard Marin Alsop conduct his Angel of Light at the Cabrillo Music Festival when I was twelve years old. That piece evoked a kind of luminous beauty that I had never heard, and it made quite an impression.For this concert, we will be performing Into the Heart of Light, a work of similar luminosity. The Finnish news site Keskipohjanmaa says the work, "creates the illusion of being underwater in the darkness, looking upwards towards a distantly shining light.”Rautavaara accomplishes this by using a recurring melody that is given beguilingly different shadings of harmony on each repetition. The harmonies move only in parallel motion, meaning that each of these section uses a single harmonic "quality." The shape of the chord is stagnant, but the notes in that chord change with each note of the melody.The effect of this is that you still hear the melody, but it feels as if you are looking at it through water, or warped glass, or perhaps a kaleidoscope. Though the melody recurs, each time it does the harmony evolves and shifts. The "kaleidoscope" turns as we push closer and closer to the surface.We finally push through to the surface with a beautiful cello solo that you listen to while lying on the surface of this lake, or ocean, finally basking in sunlight.