Nordic Highlights No. 4 2022

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N OR DIC 4/20 22

Veljo Tormis Virtual Centre

A Veljo Tormis Virtual Centre was launched on the 90th anniversary of the composer’s birth. This authorised database aims to ensure the collection, availability, preservation and promotion of Tormis’ creative heritage and to disseminate information related to his works and activities around them.

Tormis (1930–2017) is one of the Estonian composers best known internationally. His considerable oeuvre, the lion’s share of which con sists of choral works, is based on Estonian runic singing and on the folklore of other Finno-Ugric peoples.

Blomstedt and Berwald Herbert Blomstedt, 95 years old, has prepared for performance Franz Berwald’s Sinfonie Capricieuse, which he conducted for the very first time with the Danish Radio Symphony Or chestra on 17 November. In December he will conduct the symphony together with Tonhal le-Orchester Zürich and the Bamberg Sympho ny Orchestra, and in April-May performances are scheduled with the Oslo Philharmonic, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.


Sing along with Alfvén

Hugo Alfvén’s 150th anniversary was celebrated on 19 November with a sizable sing-along concert where more than 400 choristers sang some of Alfvén’s most popular choral works, together with the Swedish Radio Choir. Moreover, five composers – Anna-Karin Klockar, Ulrika Emanuelsson, Robert Sund, Karin Rehnqvist and Staffan Storm – had composed new choral pieces inspired by Alfvén’s works (See: New publications).

Kari Tikka in memoriam

Composer and conductor

Kari Tikka died on 17 October. He started his career as an oboist and later became a conductor at the Finnish National Opera, in the Finn ish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm and the Vivo Symphony Orchestra founded by him.

Kari Tikka enriched the Finnish music scene with his works, many of which had religious themes. The texts of the Bible were a great source of inspiration and comfort for him, and his opera Luther has been performed several times around the world. He also wrote some other stage works, music for the church, orchestral and chamber music and more than 150 songs, among them the popular Armolaulu (Grace Song).

Mikko Heiniö premieres

Mikko Heiniö’s Koraaleja (Chorales) will be world premiered by the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra on 11 February 2023 at the Katedraali soi Festival in Turku. Chorales will consist of an introduction and two overlapping works: a Concerto for Kantele, Violin and String Orchestra, and settings of three poems by Lassi Nummi for baritone, violin, kantele and string orchestra. The soloists will be Eija Kankaanranta (kantele), Antti Tikkanen (violin) and Kristian Lindroos (baritone). Other forthcoming commissions are a Concerto for Guitar and Chamber Choir for Patrik Kleemola and three choirs: the Key Ensemble, Kampin laulu and Tampere Cappella. Heiniö’s Allora for solo cello and a new work for guitar and piano will also be premiered next year.

Awards for Rehnqvist and Larsson Gothe

On 1 November Karin Rehnqvist received the Nordic Council’s Music Prize for her work Silent Earth , to a text by Kerstin Perski. According to the jury, Silent Earth is “an overwhelming and very urgent work. With the climate catastrophe as a background, a large musico-dramatic narrative for choir and orchestra emerges that leads the listener from ice to fire with an inexorable force. In this work Rehnqvist gives proof of her well-nigh total mastery of the craft of composition.”

Design: Tenhelp Oy

Click the sound and video symbols in the text. Other material is available at

ISSN 2000-2750 (Online)

Mats Larsson Gothe won the Swedish Music Publisher’s Award 2022 (Art Music Work of the Year – large ensemble/opera) with the opera Löftet (The Promise) , to a libretto by Susanne Marko “Here we find languorous idylls, dissonant gloom and inspiration from Jewish mu sic. The tragic subject notwithstanding, the music is at times indescribably beautiful and replete with variation”, writes the jury in their motivation.

Photo: Sung-Won Yang
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Editors: Henna Salmela and Kristina Fryklöf Translations: Susan Sinisalo, Robert Carroll & Apropos Lingua Cover photos: Tobias Broström (Magdalena Prahl Broström) , Camilla Tilling (Arne Hyckenberg), Timo Alakotila (Marko Mäkinen) Photo: Tonu Tormis Karin Rehnqvist Mats Larsson-Gothe Photo: Magnus Frödeberg Photo: Camilla Svensk

Busy Damström

Cecilia Damström has had an eventful Novem ber with several national premieres. Groove, a duo for flute and accordion, had its German premiere during the festival Klangwerkstatt in Berlin. Her piano quintet, Helene, was performed for the first time in the USA by the Van Beuren Winds and pianist Alexander Bernstein in Winchester, Virginia, and Celestial Beings for violin and viola, was played during the Rusk Festival in Finland. Coming this spring, we can look forward to the German premiere of the orchestral work ICE with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Ruth Reinhardt Among Damström’s recent commissions we find the Violin Concerto “Earth Songs” for Pekka Kuusisto and Tampere Raw and an orchestral work for the Finnish RSO planned for autumn 2023. In addition, a Festive Cantata for choir and orchestra celebrating the centenary of Helsinki University is scheduled for March 2023.

Sandström in memoriam

Sven-David Sandström, who would have turned 80 on 30 October, was honored by the Swedish Radio Choir under the direction of their principal conductor Kaspars Putnins in a concert at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm. It was the Swedish premiere for Sonnets of Darkness and Love, with texts taken from the Song of Songs, Shakespeare, Lorca and Nietzsche, together with trom bonist and vocalist Nils Landgren. The choir also premiered An Inner Sky, three poems by E.E. Cummings set to music by Matthew Peterson (winner of the Sven-David Sandström Choral Composition Award).

Lotta Wennäkoski news

Ondine Records is releasing a new disc of three orchestral works by Lotta Wennäkoski in spring 2023: the Harp Concerto Sigla, Sedecim and Flounce Nicholas Collon conducts the Finn ish Radio Symphony Orchestra, which featured Wennäkoski as one of its theme composers in the 2021/2022 season and commissioned Sigla. Lotta Wennäkoski is composing a work for clarinet and orchestra for Lauri Sallinen and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra scheduled to be premiered next year. Other projects for 2023 include a string quartet for the Kamus Quartet.


Ullén at Rusk Festival

Johan Ullén was “Composer of the Year” at the Rusk Festival in Jakobstad, Finland 22-26 November. The festival program included, among other works, The Deadly Sins, seven tangos for piano trio with Aleksander Koelbel, violin, Nick Shugaev, cello and Mårten Landström, piano. In addition violinist Christian Svarfvar gave the Finnish premiere of the violin concerto suite In finite Bach together with the Vaasa City Orchestra under Anna-Maria Helsing, and with Johan Ullén himself at the harpsichord/keyboards.

Kai Nieminen string quartets

Q Quartets has performed and commissioned works from Kai Nieminen. According to quartet member Frederick Jones, “Nieminen is a wonderful composer, and we are delighted to be performing his quartet Near the Edge of Light on 10 December 2022”. Nieminen is also writing a new one, his fifth, Dietro delle Maschere for the Q Quartets, reflecting on the characters of the Venetian Carnival masks. The premiere is scheduled for 19 April 2023 in Liverpool, UK.

Fennica Gehrman at 20 Fennica Gehrman celebrated its 20th anniversary in October with a concert of premieres of commissioned works for violin and piano. They were also published in a collection entitled Strin gendo – contemporary works for violin and piano (See: New publications). The aim was to create a lasting tribute to the composer’s art and to foster the classical music heritage. There are also two arrangements in the collection: Einojuhani Rautavaara’s The Song of my Heart and Lotta Wennäkoski’s Vestige.

Photo: Esa-Juhani Posti Photo: Ville Juurikkala Nils Landgren and the Swedish Radio Choir Photo: Arne Hyckenberg

Timo Alakotila combines modern and traditional musical languages

Timo Alakotila is one of Finland’s most active and versatile musicians and composers. His talent as a composer is known internationally across genre boundaries. His extensive oeuvre consists of e.g. concertos, music for theatre and dance productions and numerous arrangements.

Young Alakotila’s interest in mu sic was sparked in 1972, when he attended a concert by violinist and composer Konsta Jylhä and his band Purppuripelimannit (The Potpourri Players). Big roles were also played by his musician father, Toivo Alakotila, master fiddler Aarne Järvelä and Aarne’s brother, Mauno Järvelä, who played in the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra at the time. The same phenomenon was repeated in the style of these violinists: a wide, singing sound with vibrato, combined with swing, solo improvisations and syn copated folk music bowings. These features can also be heard in Alakotila’s compositions.

Alakotila’s own musical studies started with classical piano lessons. He graduated from the Helsinki Pop/Jazz Conservatory in 1992, majoring in composition. Studying piano under the guidance of Vla dimir Shafranov, Alakotila learned about free accompaniment and improvisation. Another important person was Kaj Backlund, who taught Alakotila composition, arrangement and theory. Both teach ers emphasized the importance of transcriptions. In his compositions, Alakotila fuses different elements together using his phenomenal, personal style. Good examples of this include the preludes to Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto and 5th symphony. The Scottish Symphony Orchestra performed these under conductor Thomas Dausgaard with an ensemble of folk musicians and with Pekka Kuusisto as the soloist, at the BBC Proms festival 2019 in London. The preludes were also in the Lahti Sinfonia concert program in autumn 2021.

A stream of compositions

At the beginning of the 21st century, Alakotila’s classical music compositions began to flow. One of his first major works was the Concerto for Free Bass Accordion and Chamber Orchestra, with Johanna Juhola as the soloist. Shortly after, he completed the Accordion Concerto for Maria Kalaniemi and the UMO Jazz Orchestra. In 2004, the BBC Concert Orchestra, Ka laniemi and the fiddle group JPP performed Alakotila’s Moraine under conductor Jaakko Kuusisto Baroque Violin Concerto, composed for Kreeta-Maria Kentala was the first in a series of concertos Ala kotila composed in 2006. He has written close to 20 concertos for various instruments and several other works for classical ensembles.

Concerto Grosso for string orchestra (2007) was inspired by Händel. As an interesting twist, Alakotila gave it a sprinkling of Finnish folk music influences. This combination helped him discover a way to write modern music in a traditional style. Polskas, waltzes and minuets are common in both genres, and Concerto Grosso’s third movement, Polska, evokes thoughts of Finnish folk music and dance, where varying bowings combat the steady pace of the music.

Commissions with folk music nuances

Timo Alakotila often receives requests for works that include folk music nuances. One of his long est-standing partners, violinist Pekka Kuusisto, commissioned Sketches from Folk Scenes for violin solo, harmonium and string orchestra from Alakotila. It was premiered by the Australian Chamber

Orchestra in 2009, when Kuusisto was the orchestra’s artistic director and concertmaster. The Australian concert tour included more than ten concerts and later, Kuusisto toured conducting the work in Ire land, Sweden, USA and Finland. The piece begins with a rhythmic pizzicato texture that has influ ences from traditional polska. The harmonium leads the listener to the second movement with a ceremoni al march. Its melody is an old wedding tune, integrated into Alako tila’s music. The last movement, A General Quadille from Karelia, was inspired by a comprehensive collec tion of folk dance tunes collected and published in the 1890s.

Alakotila feeds his creativity and seeks inspiration by playing in dif ferent ensembles and going to a lot of concerts. He found a soloist for his violin concerto Between Three Worlds when being part of violinist Eeva Oksala’s doctoral thesis committee. The title of the work re fers to the three musical landscapes that take turns in the three move ments. The varying time signatures and brilliant, occasionally slower solo sections culminate, through a

violin cadence, towards a fast-paced finale.

Orchestral piece Forsman repre sents Alakotila’s latest works. A tra ditional tune about Maria Magdalena, collected from Espoo, Finland, was selected for this piece. Its beau tiful melody appears in the middle of the song. Otherwise, the musical language of the piece consists of a rhythmic, partly modal dialogue between groups of instruments.

Fennica Gehrman has signed a publishing contract for several of Alakotila’s orchestral works as well as choral and chamber music pieces. Upcoming publications include the female choir pieces Koivu ja tähti and Valo, String Quartet No. 3 (La Cantina) and Hope 2021 for string quintet and piano.

Timo Alakotila remains an ac tive composer. In addition, he has worked on more than 250 records as a composer, musician and pro ducer. He is also a well-respected teacher and has developed a meth od for folk music improvisation. In 2011, he was awarded the title of artist professor.

Photo: Marko Mäkinen



Concerto for alto flute and string

orchestra (2021) Dur: 23’

This concerto composed on the initiative of flau tist Matei Ioamescu consists of six short move ments performed without a break. The soloist sometimes swaps his alto for a bass flute, which gives the music a mystical, shamanistic feel as the strings accompany with high flageolets. The 20-piece orchestra gives the slender sound of the alto flute plenty of space. The result is a work of melodic expression and lyrical yet dramatic episodes.

Simplicius Simplicissimus (2021) Dur: 24’

Concerto for E flat clarinet and orchestra

The idea for a piccolo clarinet concerto was inspired by and follows the plot of the picaresque novel Simplicius Simplicissimus of 1669 by Hans Jacob von Grimmelshausen. The soloist is Simplicius and in telling of his fantastic ad ventures the player has to match the events, at times in reverent, simple vein and at others flashy and mischievous, or as if parodying a grand operatic diva.


Stellar Skies (2015) Dur: 10’

Concertino for flute and string orchestra

This is a quietly flowing, lyrical piece, in which harmony and sonority are central. The shimmer ing texture of the string orchestra, with trills, tremolos and figurations, forms a background against which the livelier phrases and the free declamation in the solo part are delineated.


Caprism (2013) Dur: 30’

Concerto for clarinet and orchestra: 2222-4331-12-hp-str

After a sojourn in Capri, the elements earth, water and air served as inspiration to Dafgård’s graphic clarinet concerto in three movements. Already in the first chords the image of the dramatic rock “Monte Barbarossa” is hammered in. In the hauntingly beautiful second movement (Elegy/The Water – Grotta azurra) we are rocked to rest by the waves in a swaying orchestral texture in triple time, over which the clarinet plays a slow, sorrowful melody. In the virtuoso third movement (The Wind –Roman Fresco) whirlwinds blow up, lashing the waves against the cliffs.


Autrefois (2010) Dur: 33’

for flute and orchestra: 2211-2000-hp-str

Heininen said that the Flute Concerto was not like his other music. Its harmonies are more conso nant, the chord progressions sometimes lead to tonal cadences, and the rhythms are sometimes spicy. The orchestral make-up determines the tone: pastoral rather than aggressive – classical in fact. The solo part accentu ates gentle, mysterious and expressively melodic values.


Incandescence (2017) Dur: 18’

Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra: 2222-2221-02-hpstr or 2222-2200-02-str

The concerto glows in different colours and the highly virtuosic solo part glimmers and glides over the fluctuating textures of the orchestra. A major inspiration was scientific phenomena of incandescence. Each of the five movements portrays a different character and the music weaves together elements of surprise and humour.


Baboon Concerto (2017) Dur: 20’

Concerto for bassoon and orchestra: 2222-222012-0-str

This 14-movement concerto is based on Aesop’s famous fable of the busy ant and the lazy grass hopper, the latter being replaced here by the lazy baboon, who would rather entertain and smoke than gather food. This is a playful and virtuoso concerto that explores all the bassoon’s possibilities. It is rhythmical and colourful, with lots of theatrical pranks and humour.

Recent concertos for woodwind


Ricerco 2 (2011) Dur: 20’

Concerto for bassoon and orchestra: 2222-4231-timp-2perc-hp/cel-str

The concerto is based on an interplay between bassoon and orchestra, in which the orchestral episodes are often violent, dynamically contrast ing gestures over against the soloist. A relation ship arises in which the bassoon is urged on to do well-nigh impossible stunts in order to please the orchestra. In the calmer second section the bassoon even tries to sound like the orchestra, playing chords and adapting, to merge and seek acknowledgement.


Clarinet Concerto (2014) Dur: 30’ 2222-2221-02-str

The concerto is a colourful and emotionally im pressive jaunt. Kortekangas is particularly skilful at exploiting the clarinet’s ability to produce an almost insubstantially quiet sound. The soloist –the “individual” – has something to say almost all the time, but as part of the orchestra – the “collective” – rather than always being in the forefront. The concerto has two cadenzas, the second of which to some extent has to be improvised.

A New Child of Infinity (2015) Dur: 10’ Concertino for clarinet and orchestra: 3312-2220-2perc-str

Part Two of Samuelsson’s Love Trilogy is about the infinite love for children and is dedicated to her two sons. The clarinet part moves, like small chil dren’s feet, lightly and playfully over the orchestra’s evocative sonorities. But just as children are multifaceted, here there is also a deeper tone of seriousness and mystery. The concertino is concluded, however, with a bright feeling of hope for the future.


Oboe Concerto – The Enchanter (2009) Dur: 25’ 2222-2200-01-str

Schnelzer’s concerto has two sources of inspi ration, Salman Rushdie’s “magic realism” and François Leleux’s enchanting oboe playing. And an atmosphere of magic is palpable right from the start, where the oboe discreetly emerges from the shimmering and colour ful orchestral texture, which is later characterised more by dancing rhythms. The slow second movement, intoxicatingly beautiful, is calm, while the violent third movement rushes forward with continual time signature changes. The calm returns, however, at the very end of the concerto, which concludes with a couple of tones from the oboe alone.

Magical Allusion (2015) Dur: 10’

Concertino for oboe and small orchestra: 0102-2000-10-str This concertino, too, is characterised by Schnelzer’s shimmering magic and dancing features. The concerto was written with the idea in mind that it could also be performed as a complement to Mozart’s oboe concerto, hence the smaller orchestra.


The Swan Maiden (Svanhamnen) (2017)

Dur: 15’

Concertino for bassoon and string orchestra

For his concertino Valfridsson has been inspired by the artist John Bauer’s illustration of the romantic but sad fairy tale ‘The Swan Maiden’. This impressionist-tinged music clearly captures the atmosphere of mysteriousness, the anxiety, the melancholy and wistful moods both in the narrative and in Bauer’s painting.


Soie (2009) Dur: 20’

for flute and orchestra: 3232-2211-02-pf-hp-str

This is one of the best-loved pieces by Wen näkoski and it comes across as a concerto. The ti tle, meaning ‘silk’ in French, refers to the concept of texture and the three movements reflect dif ferent types of weave. The vivacious and colourful tone language has both sensitivity and roughness, virtuoso speed and slow meditation. The solo part is demanding, calling for both modern techniques and a solid traditional flute sound.


DECEMBER 2022 – APRIL 2023


Glittrande kall (Glittering cold)

Radiokören/Kaspars Putnins 3.12. Stockholm, Sweden


Jouluoratorio (Christmas Oratorio)

- revised edition

Cantores Minores, Tiksola Co, Iiro Rantala/Hannu Norjanen, sol. Mari Palo (sop), Mika Pohjonen (ten) 4.12. Helsinki, Finland

Veneziana Members of the Berlin PO, Iiro Rantala, piano 1.2. Berlin, Germany


Violin Concerto Finnish RSO/Jukka-Pekka Saraste, sol. Carolin Widmann 6.12. Helsinki, Finland


Near the Edge of Light for string quartet Q Quartets 10.12. Liverpool, UK


Winnipeg Fanfare Winnipeg Orchestra/Daniel Raiskin 28.1. Winnipeg, Canada


Koraaleja (Chorales)

Ostrobothnian CO/Antti Tikkanen, sol. Eija Kankaanranta (kantele), Antti Tikkanen (vln), Kristian Lindroos (bar) 1.2. Turku, Finland (Katedraali soi festival)


Körkarlen (The Phantom Carriage) - version for chamber orchestra Wermland Opera Orchestra/David Björkman 9.2. Karlstad, Sweden


Sinfonia 14 Musica Vitae/Malin Broman 10.2. Växjö, Sweden

Double Concerto for One Norrköping SO/Simon Crawford-Phillips, sol. Malin Broman (vln & vla) 23.3. Norrköping, Sweden



Royal Stockholm PO/Johannes Gustavsson 30.3. Stockholm, Sweden (Stockholm Composer Weekend)

Piano Quintet

The Stenhammar Quartet, David Huang, piano 2.4. Stockholm, Sweden (Stockholm Composer Weekend)


Gothenburg SO/Gothenburg Symphonic Choir/Joana Carneiro, sol. Mari Eriksmoen (sop), Anders Larsson (bar) 20.4. Gothenburg, Sweden


Renewables for solo accordion MSH 50th Accordion Competition 21.4. Helsinki, Finland


The Book of Life – A generous gift to humanity

Sven-David Sandström’s musical testament is a beautiful, astoundingly gen erous gift to a humanity that has been kicked out of paradise and is now suffering the consequences. …I enjoy it immensely when conductor Tobias Ringborg wrings out of Sandström’s score the characteristic sweetness and a glorious modernistic harshness that we have not heard in his music for some time… It is sometimes masterly, and deeply moving throughout. Dagens Nyheter 16.11.

Such fantastically beautiful and wild music Sven-David Sandström has com posed! The wealth of invention when he sets Noah’s Ark to music, the fra grance of Puccini in the romantic verses between “the Man” and “the Wom an”, the touch of Wagner’s daughters of the Rhine when Miriam and her two friends, filled with joy, strum on their tambourines. What brilliantly colourful weaves he has created for choir and orchestra…It rises to the sky like a vol canic eruption. Expressen 16.11.

Sven-David Sandström: The Book of Life (libretto: Niklas Rådström) World premiere: Norrköping SO/Tobias Ringborg, The Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, The Norrköping Vocal Ensemble, sol. Miriam Treichl, Jeremy Carpenter, et al. 14.10.2022 Norrköping, Sweden

Hakola’s showstopper

Hakola’s work unfolds in an almost carnivalistic manner with one about-face after another. In the process, Kriikku is not just able to display what is in itself his un believably virtuosic technique; he is also a comedian with a clarinet and his neat, nimble dance steps. The impression is alternately of a lovesick Schlager, cool jazz or Balkan swing. A sort of folksy avant-garde that toys with the audience… The temperature hit the roof with the Gothenburg Symphony after this showstopper. Dagens Nyheter 8.10.

Kimmo Hakola: Clarinet Concerto Gothenburg SO/Santtu-Matias Rouvali, sol. Kari Kriikku, 7.10.2022 Gothenburg, Sweden

Innovative Infinite Bach

Over the years Johan Ullén has emerged as some thing like a Stravinsky of our time in the sense that he utilises older material as content in some of his com positions in an innovative way… and now, in the re cently released record album ‘Infinite Bach’, he thrives like a fish in water… He treats his material with just as much respect as he does with recreative fantasy… The work’s golden lining is Christian Svarfvar’s daz zlingly beauteous in tone, versatile, expressive and emotionally emphatic rendition, which leaves noth ing to be desired.

Johan Ullén: Infinite Bach – Bach re:composed CD: London PO, Christian Svarfvar, violin, Johan Ullén, harpsichord/ keyboards. (Rubicon RCD 1053)

A truly great symphony

Broström’s music is distinctly vertical, as with late-romantics such as Bruckner and Sibelius. To be sure, it gushes forth as if it were flowing matter, but continues to car ry a lead weight, a relentless struggle to rise from the depths to reach its peak. And thus it speaks to us through an exquisitely delicate pattern of short melodic motifs that break out of the broadly dazzling harmonies. Motifs that harbour something mobilising, an evocative pathos, that makes this work not only a magnificent expe rience of beauty, but also a truly great symphony. Dagens Nyheter 8.10.

Tobias Broström: Symphony No. 1 – Albedo World premiere: Gothenburg SO/Santtu-Matias Rouvali, 7. 10. 2022 Gothenburg Sweden

Elegant and spellbinding Kortekangas song cycle

Olli Kortekangas has entered into the observations and feelings of the lyrical ‘I’ of the poems with great sensitivity… The poems abound in contact points that have inspired him to write lyri cal, nuanced and sometimes also playful orchestral images. He has conjured up an airy, colourful musical kaleidoscope and milieu for Tuuli Takala’s supple, spar kling soprano to float and create spellbinding patterns in varying dynamic shades or sometime just on their own, as the orchestra falls silent. Helsingin Sanomat 1.12.

Olli Kortekangas: Songs of Meena for soprano and orchestra World premiere: Helsinki PO/Osmo Vänskä, sol. Tuuli Takala, 30.11. 2022 Helsinki, Finland

Tuuli Takala Photo: Jouni Harala Photo: Julia Fälldin Tobias Broström, Santtu-Matias Rouvali and Kimmo Hakola Jeremy Carpenter & Miriam Treichl

Masterly, inspired choral symphony

Alex Freeman seems to be totally at home in an or chestral milieu and his instrumentation is full of ex pression and fantasy with delicious wind arabesques, double-bass flageolets and an innovative use of percussion as an ear-perking element… The tonal language caught the text’s shifting nuances to per fection. Hufvudstadsbladet 15.11.

Alex Freeman: Ghost Light (Choral Symphony)

Freeman has done some fresh takes on romantic nature scenes. Ghost Light for is rewarding for the singers, with catchy, tonal melodies, broad, warm timbres, colourful harmonies, unisons, ecstatic na ture painting, striking build-ups. Helsingin Sanomat 15.11.

World premiere: Helsinki PO, Helsinki Music Centre Choir/Nils Schweckendiek,11.11.2022

Martinaitytė’s mesmerizing sound world

Mesmerizing might be the best way to describe these three recently composed sonic landscapes for string orchestra…the music’s slow, subtle, detailed unfold ing and frequent luminescence are unique. Stereophile, Sept 2022

This is music that gets one in the gut as much as in the head…The performance and recording are everything a composer could dream of: committed, imaginative and with a palpable sense of excitement which I found infectious. Musicweb-international, June 2022 Žibuoklė Martinaitytė: Ex tenebris lux, Nunc fluens. Nunc stans, Sielunmaisema

CD: Lithuanian CO/Karolis Variakojis (Ondine 1403-2)

Double and Triple Concertos

Kalevi Aho’s orchestration, whether it be for small or large forces, shows a masterful understanding of the color palette each instrument affords…. Lovers of Sibelius and Rautavaara should find Aho’s music equally thrilling – he is surely one of the finest living composers today. Classic Review 12/2021

The combination of cor anglais and horn is most delightful, with a hint of modality, at times quasi-im provisational, and highly virtuosic for the cor anglais in particular… The Triple Concerto is a brilliantly in spired and superbly crafted work…one of the best contemporary concertos. Klassik Heute 2–2022

Kalevi Aho: Double Concerto for Cor Anglais and Harp, Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano

CD: Antwerp SO/Olari Elts, sol. Dimitri Mestdag (cor anglais), Anneleen Lenaerts, (harp), Storioni Trio (BIS 2426)

Shimmering music by Whittall

The work shimmers and shines meditatively… Against this background Whittall picks out motifs from Sibelius’s choral song in different “lights”.

Helsingin Sanomat 15.10.

Whittall cleverly integrates the little Sibelius Christ mas carol with a magically shimmering, shivering world of sound in which the large orchestra gives the calm, at times gently hazy horizons their ultimate full ness and substance. Hufvudstadsbladet 15.10.

Matthew Whittall: Silence Speaks (Hiljaisuus puhuu)

World premiere: Helsinki PO/Susanna Mälkki, 14.10.2022

Powerful and emotional Chaplin Songs

Nelson fears neither modern rhythms nor roman ticism with broad strokes of the brush… soprano Camilla Tilling’s solo voice emerges like a shimmering golden thread in the vocal texture. The orchestral sec tion that follows is dramatic, with tolling bell sounds. Later it becomes both mechanical and contemplative, and yet it eventually just comes to an end in some thing hopeful and bright… Nelson’s work is, to be sure, like Chaplin’s speech, a paean to the democrat ic values… The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir turn this speech into music that is both powerful and emotional, with an interplay of intricate rhythms. Dagens Nyheter 23.10.

With his experience from opera Nelson has got an eye for effective musical dramaturgy. The alternation be tween ethereal delicacy and rhythmical force points to this; as do also the recurrent material and the ges tures that create an assured large-scale form.

Svenska Dagbladet 23.10.

Daniel Nelson: Chaplin Songs

World premiere: Swedish Radio SO & Choir/Andrew Manze, soloist Camilla Tilling, soprano, 21.10.2022 Stockholm, Sweden

Photo: D. Matvejev Alex Freeman and Nils Schweckendiek Photo: Helsinki Music Centre Choir Matthew Whittall Photo: Maarit Kytöharju Camilla Tilling Photo: Arne Hyckenberg
Žibuoklė Martinaitytė

Seven questions for Tobias Broström

You have written many orchestral works and solo concertos earlier. Was there anything special about composing a symphony?

To write a symphony entails obligation, it re quires something special from you. For the last 10-15 years I have worked with long lines in my orchestral works and tried to master that, so when a request came from the Gothenburg Symphony for me to write a large-scale work (a real whopper, as they put it) to be played after the intermission, I knew that it was time. I had really high expectations for myself so, yes, it was special, but also a lot of fun. I decided to rely only on what I know how to do, and write the work with joy, and the symphony landed right where I wanted it to. It leans towards the Late-Romantic symphonic tradition with freedom in form and structure, but with concrete themes and motifs that are repeated.

The symphony bears the subtitle Albedo and is the second part in a trilogy of orchestral works inspired by the world of alchemy and Jungian psychology. Do you see any connections between these worlds and the musical world?

It is a process of personal development. I went through a crisis at the time when I composed my Concerto for Two Trumpets, Nigredo (the black phase). The symphony, Albedo (the white phase), deals with increased self-awareness, and how to be forgiving to myself. And finally, my coming orchestral work, Rubedo (the red phase), is about finding my identity again and attaining my new personality. This is how the theme ties in. It is my personal journey that is reflected in the music.

On 31 March of next year we will get to hear the symphony again in connection with the Stock holm Concert Hall’s Composer Weekend. It will be four full days with your music spanning over 20 years – from your breakthrough work, the percus sion concerto Arena, to the premiere of the third par t of your orchestral trilogy, Rubedo How does this feel? And how has your music developed over the years?

It feels wonderful, of course! You start thinking back to what you have achieved. Just before the pandemic broke out, Arena – now that you men tion the work – was performed in Nuremburg. I was then reminded of the artistic and creative freedom that I experienced when I wrote the piece some 20 years ago. It was like Christmas Eve! An enormous joy of discovery. Sometimes I miss that feeling today, but instead you get to embrace all the experience that you’ve gathered throughout the years. There are things that recur in what I have composed, e.g., modal/bitonal

ideas when it comes to harmony. These were with me at an early stage and have been developed further over the years. But rhythm is the strongest driving force for me, then comes harmony, which is also of vital importance. The melodic element has been developed from having played a minor role in the beginning, to being given a more prominent place in my recent symphony.

During the first concert with the Royal Philhar monic also one of your internationally most fre quently performed works, the trumpet concerto Lucernaris (2009) will be played by Håkan Hardenberger. Here, you have also added live electronics to the orchestral parts, which is unu sual in your works. What effects did you want to achieve with this?

I wanted to work with live electronics together with the orchestra in an integrated and ambient fashion. I had an idea to spread out the sound of the orchestra all over the auditorium with surround sound. I recorded violins, and above all Håkan’s trumpet, processed the sounds and created loops.

Guests at the festival will include your home or chestra, the Helsingborg Symphony. They will per form your Violin Concerto written for Karen Gomyo and the percussion concerto Arena with Johan Bridger. What has enticed you to compose so many solo concertos?

It has to do with a personal collaboration that one cannot achieve when working with a large sym phony orchestra. Working together with soloists can vary a lot depending on who it is. Håkan gets very much involved, and I like it that way. I enjoy

a bit of resistance, someone who calls into question and someone who pushes me. It is relevant and vital. And I have worked together with Johan Bridger ever since secondary school, and we still collaborate. He is able to realize most of my ideas.

We will also get to hear your orchestral arrange ment of Erik Satie’s Vocation from Le fils des étoiles. What is your relationship to Satie?

I discovered Satie in my late teens and experienced him as a wonderfully free and eccentric artistic soul. Le fils des étoiles sounds a lot like jazz of the 50s, with its piling-up of parallel fourths, despite having been written in 1891! My arrangement is a student work that I did already in the second composition class of 2003.

The festival will be rounded off with chamber mu sic performed by the Stenhammar Quartet, pianist David Huang and Johan Bridger, including the premiere of your Piano Quintet. What role does chamber music play in your creativity?

It is difficult to write chamber music, especial ly if you – like myself – prefer to work with a great variety of timbres. It is a completely different kind of composing, pared down and na ked, with nothing to hide behind. I would like to write more chamber music even though it is in the world of the orchestra that I feel most at home. Just now I am longing to write more vocal music, preferably for choir, that is great fun. But above all I want to write opera. Per haps there is someone who will jump at that.

Tobias Broström will be featured composer of the Stockholm Concert Hall’s Composer Weekend Festival 2023. And this past October his First Symphony was premiered by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Santtu-Matias Rouvali. Photo: Magdalena Prahl Broström


Hope 2021 for string quintet and piano FG 9790550118171


Borderline for cello and piano GE 14058


Once upon a time... for cl, vlc & pf GE 14417


Ikimetsän lumous (The charm of the deep forest) Six pieces for piano FG 9790550117907


April Evenings for Black Twins for two pianos

A virtuoso 15-minute sonata in five movements dating from 2015. FG 9790550117914


The Tunnel at the End of the Light for tuba FG 9790550117938


Animal II for bass clarinet 9790550118225

X’Three for violoncello FG 9790550118218


String quartet No. 2 “Under a Ginkgo Tree in Tiergarten”

String quar tet No. 3 On the 50th birthday of the composer Fennica Gehrman published his two string quartets, dating from 2014 and 2022.

No. 2: FG 9790550118133, No. 3: FG 9790550118140


Ringraziamento for string quintet GE 14332 (score), GE 14333(parts)


Segla for harp FG 9790550118201



Le fils des ètoiles

Orchestration of Prélude du premier act –La vocation (Erik Satie) for orchestra GE 14414 (score), GE 14416 (study score)

Theatron for two percussionists and wind orchestra GE 13243 (score), GE 13245 (study score)


Hommage an Clara for soprano and orchestra Songs by Clara Schumann, interwoven with fragments by Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Based on a concept by Lisa Larsson. Orchestrations by Martinsson. GE 14081 (score), GE 14082 (study score)

Soundscape – A Walk in Colours Concerto for horn and orchestra GE 14188 (score), GE 14190 (study score)


Silent Earth for mixed choir SATB and orchestra

Text: Kerstin Perski (Eng) GE 13841 (score), GE 13843 (study score), GE 13844 (vocal score)


Sielunmaisema (Soul-landscape) for cello and string orchestra BBC Music Magazine praises the CD with Sielunmaisema: ”Her scores create vast shimmering landscapes that lead the mind somewhere dream-like and seem to speak directly to the body’s senses in arresting and unexpected ways. FG 9790550117921 (score)


Azraeel Suite for winds and persussion GE 14376 (score), GE 14378 (study score)


Karelian Dance for solo violin and string orchestra First publication 9790550118102 (score and parts)

Five Nordic Melodies for string orchestra (without violas) 9790550118072 (score and parts)

Koska valaissee kointähtönen for string orchestra. 9790550118119 (score and parts)


Pippi Lifts the Horse (Pippi lyfter hästen) for orchestra GE 13851 (score), GE 13853 (study score)


A Dragon Kiss Always Ends in Ashes for string orchestra GE 12875 (score), GE 12877 (study score)

In Killing Fields Sweet Butterfly Ascend for orchestra GE 12258 (score), GE 12881 (study score)

SCORE for orchestra Composition: Erik Satie Orchestration: Tobias Broström Le fils des étoiles Prélude du premier acte – La vocation Theatron for two percussion soloists & wind orchestra SCORE Tobias Broström Hommage an Clara based on a concept by Lisa Larsson songs by Clara Schumann orchestrated by Rolf Martinsson for soprano and orchestra SCORE Silent Earth for mixed choir and orchestra Poems by Kerstin Perski Score Rehnqvist Karin Albert Schnelzer Azraeel Suite for winds and percussion HIGHLIGHTS 4/2022 9 NEW PUBLICATIONS
SCORE Tobias Broström Once upon a time... for clarinet, cello & piano borderline for Cello and Piano borderline anders annerholm Pippi lyfter hästen för symfoniorkester
A Dragon Kiss Always Ends in Ashes for string orchestra SCORE Jonas Valfridsson
SCORE Mats Larsson Gothe Ringraziamento for string quintet
Benjamin Staern




Koivu ja tähti for descant choir

Text: Satu Koskimies (Fin) FG 9790550118195


The rain it raineth every day for mixed choir

Text: W. Shakespeare (Eng) FG 9790550118188

Veni lux for mixed choir, organ and trumpet ad lib. Text: Lat FG 9790550118164

Almark is a versatile musician: a singer, conductor, composer, arranger and violinist. These two publications present her recent choral output.


Stilla natt (Silent Night) fantasy for mixed choir SSAATTBB Text: Hans Näslund (Swe) GE14297


An Inner Sky I – I (a leaf falls) oneliness for mixed choir SMzATBarB

Text: E. E. Cummings (Eng)

GE 14360

An Inner Sky II – ! o (round) moon for mixed choir SATB

Text: E. E. Cummings (Eng) GE 14361

An Inner Sky III – brIght for mixed choir SSAATTBB

Text: E. E. Cummings (Eng) GE 14362


Marian kiitosvirsi for voice and piano

Text: Jaakko Heinimäki (Fin) FG 9790550166899 (PDF publication)


Wiegenlieder im All (Vaggvisor i världsrymden) for mixed choir SATB and Blackcap obbligato (soundfile with blackcap singing) Text: Karin Rehnqvist (Ger/Swe) GE 14330


Glittrande kall (Glittering Cold) for mixed choir SATB div.

Text: Karin Boye (Swe) GE 14375


Ein Körnchen Sands for mezzosoprano, vlc & pf

Text: Paul Celan (Ger)

Winner of the O/Modernt Composition Award 2020 GE 14241


Crossroads for mixed choir SMzATBarB

Text:Malin Hülphers (Eng) GE 14341

EEVA SARMANTO-NEUVONEN, LIISA AROHEIMO-MARVIA (ED.) Sonaatteja ja sonatiineja pianolle (Sonatas and sonatinas for piano)

A new, revised edition which includes 15 pieces from 12 different composers.

FG 9790550118096




Lyrical games in folk style for mixed choir SSAATTBB Text: Alf Henriksson/Oscar II (Swe) GE 14266

SVANTE HENRYSSON Sveriges flagga (Flag of Sweden) for mixed choir SATB Text: K. G. Ossiannilsson/ Trad/Svante Henrysson (Swe/Nor/Heb/Jidd) GE 14267

ANNA-KARIN KLOCKAR Limu, limu lima for mixed choir SATB Text: Trad (Swe) GE 14262

KARIN REHNQVIST Tjuv och tjuv – VADÅ, JAG??? (Thief – WHAT, ME???) mini drama for mixed choir SATB and piano Text: Trad (Swe) GE 14264

STAFFAN STORM Evening Reflections for mixed choir SATB Text: vocalise GE 14265


Anders han var en hurtiger dräng (Andrew Was A Lively Lad) for mixed choir SATB Text: C. Ekeman (Swe) GE 14263



Contemporary works for violin and piano

New pieces from Kalevi Aho, Kimmo Hakola, Mikko Heiniö, Olli Kor tekangas, Jyrki Linjama, Veli-Matti Puumala, Harri Wessman and Matthew Whittall and two arrangements (Einojuhani Rautavaara, Lotta Wennäkoski). Fennica Gehrman paid tribute to its composers with this 20th-anniversary collection of commissions, hoping that the pieces would have a long and audible future, find a place in the staple violin repertoire and bring joy to both present and subsequent generations.

FG 9790550117853

For further information contact us at:

Gehrmans Musikförlag AB Box 42026, SE-126 12 Stockholm, Sweden Tel. +46 8 610 06 00 Web shop: Hire: Sales:

Fennica Gehrman Oy Ab PO Box 158, FI-00121 Helsinki, Finland Tel. +358 10 3871 220 Web shop: Hire: Sales:

Most Fennica Gehrman’s new publications are also available as PDF editions in our web shop.

SATB a cappella STILLA
fantasi för kör a cappella solo, satb div Hans Näslund Franz Gruber Jan Yngwe Svante Henryson SATB a cappella
Sveriges flagga
Anna-Karin Klockar SATB a cappella Limu, limu lima AN INNER SKY – I l(a leaf falls)oneliness mixed choir a cappella E. E. Cummings Matthew Peterson Karin Rehnqvist SATB och piano Tjuv och tjuv VADÅ, JAG??? Staffan Storm SATB a cappella
Anders han var en hurtiger dräng Robert Sund SATB a cappella Wiegenlieder im All Vaggvisor världsrymden for mixed choir and Black cap obbligato Rehnqvist Karin Albert Schnelzer Glittrande kall SATB div a cappella Andrea Sordano poem by Paul Celan Ein Körnchen Sands for mezzo-soprano, violoncello and piano
Ann-Sofi Söderqvist Mixed choir cappella
Evening Reflections
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