At the beginning it appears to be in a very familiar musical language: G minor. But that measure of 4/4 seems to have no purpose. Later on there is a measure of 5/4 that again seems out of nowhere. But we are just getting started because those melodic themes just seem to evaporate and a C minor chord appears out of nowhere. Then there is a new melodic passage that stresses an F flat and D flat. With no preparation or functional reason, we suddenly veer into a long, repeated passage on the dyad F#/A. This leads to more thirds that outline E minor and B minor. The repeated-note motif recurs on A, then on the dyad F/A, then the stack of thirds comes again, this time on B flat. Repeated low E. Then a new harmony, 4ths with a high B flat. I could go on, but while there are certain ideas that return again and again, like the repeated notes, speeding up and slowing down, and certain ideas, like the fourths with a minor third on top, are moved around in parallel, the compositional logic here is very unlike anything I have ever seen before. I'm sure there is a logic because the piece works. It carries the listener along and seems to have its own mysterious logic. It is just that there don't seem to be any analytical tools that help us out. Please correct me if I am mistaken!
Here is a performance of the piece by Patrik Kleemola:
There does not seem to be a logic to the harmony as we understand it in tonal or modal music. Sure, you could argue that the piece is on G, minor at the beginning and major at the end; it ends with a G major chord. But what happens in between is hard to explain. Chords come and go without any justification in terms of tonality OR voice-leading. The melodies are not tonal, nor modal, nor octatonic, nor whole-tone. The rhythms are particularly obscure.
Now if this were a bad piece of music, we could just say, sure, it's bad because it is so disjointed. But my ear and instincts tell me it is a good piece of music! So I am just stumped. Which is what fascinates me.
Now let's look at another piece, from 1970, that is a hundred times more perplexing than this simple one. This is the Concerto for Two Orchestras which is for symphony orchestra and jazz band! You can just imagine how much the Soviet authorities loved this! It ends with a nice B minor chord, but wow, the rest of it? Have a listen:
I recommend going to YouTube and using full screen so you can read the score.