Nordic Highlights No. 2 2022

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NEWSLETTER FROM GEHRMANS MUSIKFÖRLAG & FENNICA GEHRMAN


Photo: Mats Bäcker

NEWS

Miriam Treichl

14 October will see the posthumous world premiere of Sven-David Sandström’s opera The Book of Life, with 22 soloists, the Norr­ köping Symphony Orchestra and the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir conducted by Tobias Ringborg. During his last year Sandström worked on an opera to a libretto by Niklas Rådström, based on the latter’s novel The Book, a bold and visionary re-interpretation of the books of the Bible. The Book of Life is a four-hour whole-evening opera in three acts where the audience meets Adam and Eve, Moses, Jesus, Sarah, the three archangels and many more from the Bible’s abounding gallery of characters. The premiere will be performed as semi-concert opera at De Geerhallen in Norrköping, in collaboration with Östgötateatern.

On 19 May Cecilia Damström was awarded one of Scandinavia’s largest music prizes, the Teosto Prize, for her work ICE for symphony orchestra. The jury describes Damström as “without bias updating contemporary classical music to the world of the 2020s.” ICE takes up “how it feels when the ice melts in the age of climate change” and was written on commission from the Lahti Symphony Orchestra (the city of Lahti was the environmental capital of Europe 2021). Damström’s new orchestral piece Wasteland is scheduled to be premiered on 1 September in connection with the season’s opening at Norrlandsoperan in Umeå. The work is a joint commission by the Norrlandsoperan Symphony, the Gävle Symphony and the Tampere Philharmonic.

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Editors: Henna Salmela and Kristina Fryklöf Translations: Susan Sinisalo, Robert Carroll & Apropos Lingua Cover photos: Emmanuel Ceysson (Dario Acosta), Jyrki Linjama (Esko Jämsä), Karin Rehnqvist (Agnes Thor), Alex Freeman (Lars Johnson) Design: Tenhelp Oy and video symbols in the text. Click the sound Other material is available at www.gehrmans.se/highlights www.fennicagehrman.fi/highlights ISSN 2000-2750 (Online)

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Photo: Gunnar Helgesson

Damström awarded Teosto Prize

This year marks the 120th anniversary of the birth of Helvi Leiviskä. Fennica Gehrman has published some sought-after chamber works by her, including the Piano Quartet and Piano Trio (See: Repertoire tips) and dug some other pieces out of the archives. Revised editions of her orchestral works have also been made available, and a few can be heard in autumn 2022: the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Leiviskä’s Sinfonia Brevis on 21 September with Dalia Stasevska conducting, and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra under Anna-Maria Helsing will play her Second Symphony on 6 December.

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The opera Den svarte munken (The Black Monk) by Pehr Henrik Nord­gren is to be staged at the Helsinki Contemporary Opera Festival on 3 & 4 September, having previously being postponed by the Covid pandemic. It is a rare opera and has never before been heard in Helsinki. Nordgren wrote the libretto himself after the mystic short story by Anton Chekhov. Both the conductor, Teemu Hämäläinen, and the stage director, Ville Saukkonen, are excited to be staging such a significant work.

Jeremy Carpenter

Helvi Leiviskä anniversary

NEWSLE T TER FROM GEHRMANS MUSIKFÖRLAG & FENNICA GEHRMAN

Rare Nordgren opera to be staged

Photo: Aino Launis

Sven-David Sandström’s last opera

Alex Freeman at 50 Alex Freeman was 50 in April, and several choirs are celebrating him as a result. The Helsinki Chamber Choir will be giving three performances of A Wilderness of Sea; the Key Ensemble will sing his Cathedral of Spring and the Kaamos Choir has some choral works by him in its repertoire. Freeman has also received a commission from the Helsinki Music Centre Choir to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The new work Ghost Light is an expansive, 50-minute choral symphony which draws upon the ecstatic optimism and imagery in the poetry of Walt Whitman and others. Nils Schweckendiek conducts the premiere with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra on 11 November 2022.


Photos: Henna Salmela, Romain Etienne, Saara Vuorjoki

Olli Kortekangas

Kalevi Aho

Timo-Juhani Kyllönen

Summer festival highlights Virpi Räisänen and the Kamus String Quartet. The solo pianist in the recent Mysterium quartet will be Sonja Fräki. The monologue opera Ilona Irti Op. 100 for soprano and instrumental ensemble (vl-vlc-pf ) by Timo-Juhani Kyllönen (to the libretto by Leena Lehtolainen) is to be premiered at the Organ Night and Aria festival in Espoo on 18 August. The opera was commissioned by the festival and will be performed by Aurora Marthens and the Trio Roozeman.

Daniel Nelson’s Chaplin Songs will be premiered on 21 October. The work is a 40-minute musical setting of the famous narrative in Charlie Chaplin’s film’ The Great Dictator’ from 1940 in which Chaplin raises his voice for peace and compassion, satirizing national borders, intolerance and leaders who abolish freedom – a text that is horridly relevant today. “I feel that his message of unity and freedom needs to be told over and over again. In times when the foundations of democracy are threatened by individuals as well as entire ideologies, this work is my way of retelling the message that Chaplin gave voice to: if we do not preserve democracy, we are all lost”, says Nelson. Andrew Manze conducts the Swedish RSO and Choir in the premiere. The soloist is soprano Camilla Tilling. The work is a joint commission by the Swedish Radio, the Helsingborg and the Gävle Symphony Orchestras.

String quartet by Tiina Myllärinen Two Finnish string quartets – the Sea Lapland String Quartet and the Uusinta Ensemble – have commissioned a new quartet from Tiina Myllärinen. The premiere is scheduled for the autumn 2022 season, at a concert by the Uusinta Ensemble, after which the work will tour with the Sea Lapland String Quartet and be heard at four concerts in spring 2023.

Tobias Broström will be in focus at the Stockholm Concert Hall’s Composer Weekend on 30 March-2 April 2023. There will be three orchestral concerts, including the premiere of a new opening piece. Participating orchestras are the Stockholm Philharmonic and the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, with the soloists Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet, Karen Gomyo, violin, and Johan Bridger, percussion. The festival is rounded off with chamber music, and the premiere of a new Piano Quintet. Already on 7 October it is time for the world premiere of Tobias Broström’s Symphony No. 1 – Albedo at the Gothenburg Concert Hall. The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra performs under the direction of Santtu-Matias Rouvali.

#swedishchoralmusic 2022 – for equality An external script committee has now selected six out of the many choral works that were sent in to Gehrmans Musikförlag and the Swedish Society of Composers’ “Call for works by female and non-binary composers”. Already now you Anna Cederberg can find the first two works Marie Sandell Orretag on YouTube, Anna Cederberg-Orreteg’s That Night of Falling Stars (Natten då stjärnorna föll) , a lyrical, existential and varied piece, and Marie Sandell’s Indiffernt Fauna (Liknöjd fauna) , a humorous animal suite in five parts. Photo: Lars Uggla

Photo: Nicklas Raab

Tobias Broström news

Photo: Josef Sjöblom

Chaplin Songs

Photo: Mika Kirsi

The Partita Concertante for cello and instrumental ensemble by Olli Kortekangas was commissioned by the Naantali Music Festival for a premiere on 15 June. Also on the programme was Kortekangas’s church opera Ende und Beginn. The festival will also be paying tribute to the late Jaakko Kuusisto with several performances of works by him. At the Musica Kalevi Aho festival in Forssa, the Pori Sinfonietta conducted by Tibor Bogányi will play works by Kalevi Aho on 18 June. The programme will also include Sateen aikaan (Rain Time), performed by

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Jyrki Linjama – a composer exploring fundamental questions A critically inquisitive and questioning composer, Linjama creates large-scale works on serious topics. His sensitive emotional expression is always based on an awareness of the darker dimensions of existence. Photo: Esko Jämsä

“B

Gregorian melodies

twelve-tone technique that emerged during his years of study forms one of the starting points for his totally chromatic, often lyrically expressionistic style of composing. For him, however, the twelve-tone technique is more of a tool than an all-encompassing structural principle. “It offers opportunities to explore the material, but traditional dodecaphony can also turn against itself,” says Linjama. Photo: Ferdinand Neumueller

oth composition and liturgy explore fundamental questions, which is why they are so good together.” This quote is a good description of Jyrki Linjama (b. 1962) as a composer. In his music, spiritual and musical impulses are closely intertwined, often even when the work is not religious in nature. Linjama’s attitude as a composer is more critically inquisitive and questioning than explicitly declarative. Underlying his sensitive emotional expression is always an awareness of the heavier, darker dimensions of existence. Linjama’s output includes a wide variety of works in different genres: two church operas, large-scale choral-orchestral works, three violin concertos, orchestral works, vocal and chamber music. No single configuration is dominant. “My composition is practical. The work and genre that interests me most is always the one I’m working on at the time,” he says. Jyrki Linjama studied composition at the Sibelius Academy under Einojuhani Rautavaara and Paavo Heininen and graduated with a doctorate in music in 2003. He continued his studies at the Royal Conservatoire the Hague and the Berlin University of the Arts under Witold Szalonek and in Budapest as a private student of Zsolt Durkó. Linjama’s career, which began in the 1980s, has not seen any radical stylistic changes. The connection with the Viennese School and

Die Geburt des Täufers performance in Austria.

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Linjama’s music takes on an added dimension from the Gregorian melodies he often uses. They appear in his works, sometimes as surface-level melodic material, sometimes as cantus firmus or otherwise embedded in the fabric. They do not, however, introduce any neo-tonal or other neo-simplistic element, nor are they necessarily associated only with spiritual works. Linjama has also composed a polska, for example, based on a Gregorian tune. The Gregorian starting point is evident in two groups of works of different kinds. Since 2006, five of the composer’s works have been entitled Allerheiligentag, ranging from solo pieces to orchestral works. Linjama says that he is attracted by the beautiful sound of the word itself. All works in this group are based on the same Finnish folk chorale and the requiem topos it creates. Allerheiligentag II (2008) for orchestra is the most powerful of these works. Allerheiligentag III (2018) is the second of Linjama’s three string quartets. Underlying Gregorian melodies are also the common factor behind Linjama’s four Sonata da Chiesa pieces. These sonatas form a more coherent group, as they are all solo works: the instruments are piano (I 2010), organ (II 2014), harpsichord (III 2015) and guitar (IV 2022). Of these, the guitar piece also bears


the additional title “Missa brevis”, as its four movements resemble the structure of the mass. The Liturgical Concerto for Organ and Strings (2005) is “liturgical” in the same spirit as, for example, Honegger’s Symphonie Liturgique (No. 3). The three movements of the work are related both to the concerto form and to the liturgical form; the titles are Kyrie, Gloria and Agnus Dei.

Great works on serious themes

R EPER TOI RE T I P S KALEVI AHO Mysterium (2019) Dur: 25’

for piano left hand and string quartet The sketches for Scriabin’s unfinished Mysterium inspired Aho to write this work dedicated to its commissioner Izumi Tateno. Enchanting Scriabin-like harmonies serve as a basis for the melodic material. The work opens in shadowy, misty mood. The finale draws the musical material together, fading in mysterious moods.

Jyrki Linjama’s major works include his two church operas. Die Geburt des Täufers (The Birth of the Baptist, 2010) was commissioned by the Austrian Carinthischer Sommer festival. The theme is the birth of John the Baptist as told in the Gospel of Luke. The opera has also been spun off into a foursong suite, Lieder der Elisabeth (2011). Also related is the four-movement song suite Das fliessende Licht der Gottheit (2012), set to texts by the 13th-century mystic Mechthild von Magdeburg. Linjama’s other church opera, Three Letters to Laestadius (2017), is about the Swedish Sami botanist and priest Lars Levi Laestadius (1800-1861), who inspired an Evangelical Lutheran revival movement. In the opera’s story, Laestadius, on his deathbed, receives three letters from women in the present day whose fates reveal the darker side of Laestadianism and horrify the priest. The work offers a reflective and critical perspective on the distorted interpretation of spiritual legacy. The form of the work follows the structure of the mass and is, in a way, situated between opera and liturgy. Alongside the operas, Linjama’s main output includes two large-scale vocal works that reflect on serious themes. The Finnish Stabat Mater (2012) interprets the familiar Stabat Mater text as a Finnish translation. This time there are no Gregorian melodies, but instead a connection to the archaic Finnish lament tradition. The instrumentation includes the kantele in addition to strings. The composer’s other large-scale vocal work is Vanitas (2013), based on the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. Jyrki Linjama’s pragmatic approach is illustrated by the fact that the choral part tends to be a little more simplistic, while the orchestral part has a harmonic and tonal richness.

DANIEL BÖRTZ Agora (2009-2010) Dur: 15’

Kimmo Korhonen

Dur: 5’

Footnote: Jyrki Linjama (born on 23 April 1962) celebrates his 60th anniversary this year.

for piano quintet Agora is the Greek word for marketplace; in ancient times it was also a place of assembly where the citizens held discussions and selected persons made decisions. Börtz’s quintet consists of five “character pieces”, including gravity, joy, pleasure, argumentation – all typical of an Agora.

CECILIA DAMSTRÖM Minna – Quintet No. 1 (2017) Dur: 24’

for piano quintet Minna is the first in a trilogy of quintets on the theme ”Women’s destiny”. The work depicts various events in the life of author and first Finnish feminist, Minna Canth whose willpower is clearly manifested in the forceful and energetic music. But there are also fragile melodies and humorous features here.

ANDERS ELIASSON Fogliame (1990) Dur: 19’

for piano quartet Fogliame means foliage and refers to the continually shifting and unpredictable shimmer of light in the shadows of the trees. It is written in a single movement but contains numerous contrasting sections where intensity and allegro alternate with soothing calm and lento – an often repeated indication is dolcissimo. The music develops freely, like when the winds randomly stir the luminous flux among the leaves.

HALVOR HAUG Trio (1995) Dur: 22’

for piano trio Haug’s Trio is a deeply expressive work filled with strong feelings, drama, seriousness and mystery. The piece was commissioned by the Grieg Trio, to whom the work is dedicated.

MIKKO HEINIÖ The Voice of the Tree (Puun ääni) (2006) Dur: 17’

for piano quartet This exciting quartet was inspired by the poems of Eira Stenberg about trees: their voices, movement, spaces and light. Hitting, tapping and rubbing endow the music with the soulful sound of wood and trees as well as captivating physicality. There are also hints of West African pentatonics and rhythms.

UUNO KLAMI Piano Trio in F Sharp Minor (1917) Klami completed only the first movement (Quasi allegro) of this piece. The trio was recently edited by Esa Ylönen and Eero Kesti and acts as an enchanting introduction to Klami’s development as a composer. After the folk-song like beginning, the texture becomes more expressive and proceeds with dramatic outbursts.

Piano Trios, Quartets & Quintets HELVI LEIVISKÄ Piano Trio (1924) Dur: ca 30’

The one-movement youthful trio impresses with its directness of expression, affective potential and profound sonority. It focuses on symbols of spirituality: the mystery of existence and spiritual quest were themes that dominated Leiviskä’s life and thoughts and they come across in her music.

Piano Quartet (1926/1935) Dur: 25’

This quartet is considered one of the cornerstones of Leiviskä’s chamber music. It is in three movements featuring religious and ecstatic imagery such as may be found in French, German or Russian neo-Romantic styles.

KAI NIEMINEN Reflecting Landscapes (2011) Dur: ca 19’

for piano trio Emily Dickinson’s poem inspired this piece which includes delicate bird motifs and church bells in the opening section. The violin and cello flageolets paint a dream-like atmosphere, leaving room for the piano’s hypnotic movements

MARIE SAMUELSSON In Horizons (2018) Dur: 13’

for piano trio Samuelsson composed In Horizons during a stay at the island of Fårö, north of Gotland. She describes the work as ”different meetings of light, dark streaks and forward-looking.” The work was written for Trio Lindgård-Rodrick-Öquist and premiered during the Swedish Music Spring Festival 2018.

ALBERT SCHNELZER Predatory Dances (2003) Dur: 12’

for piano trio The trio starts out violent and aggressive, in forte fortissimo. Like pursued game the strings rush on with the piano driving them from behind. In between there are sections of calm and rest, and melodic lines that are here and there achingly beautiful. This is also how the trio is concluded: Andante e tranquillo.

JEAN SIBELIUS Trio in C Major (Lovisa Trio) (1888) Dur: 16’ In this work, Sibelius left Classicism behind and adopted an air of melancholy Romanticism. He wrote it at his aunt’s villa in Lovisa, his favourite summer retreat, for the family trio: Jean played the violin, his sister the piano and his brother the cello.

Piano Quartet in C Minor (1891) Dur: 6’

Sibelius wrote a theme and seven variations for piano during his stay in Vienna. Afterwards, he arranged it for piano quartet and added an Adagio introduction in C major, which is why it is sometimes known as the C major quartet. This is a form rare in Sibelius’s early output, and the introduction already shows that his musical thinking had taken an orchestral turn.

JOHAN ULLÉN The Deadly Sins (2006-08) Dur: 37’

for piano trio These seven tangos each describe the character of one of the Deadly Sins. For example “Envy”, is in the form of a crime passionnel with the violin in focus, “Gluttony”, stuffs itself with new melodies that make the tango grow until it bursts, and the seventh and final tango, “Anger”, is a slow dance in which rage gradually comes to a boil inside.

LOTTA WENNÄKOSKI Hem (Päärme) (2014-15) Dur: 11’

for piano trio A cheerfully brisk piece, the amusing and unusual title of which was prompted by the idea of steady but erratically colourful stitching. The music has a pulsative character, especially in the outer sections. According to the composer, the result is not always intended to be over-neat or regular and noise sounds are also an intrinsic feature of the hand-made texture.

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Karin Rehnqvist: “Music, where are you heading?” On 27 August, after a delay of two years, Karin Rehnqvist’s Silent Earth finally will receive its Swedish premiere during the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm. The Swedish Radio Choir, Symphony Orchestra and conductor Dima Slobodeniouk will perform the half-hour-long work that was described as “bewildering and powerfully encouraging” in the nomination for the Nordic Council’s Music Prize. Rehnqvist takes us out among the planets, where we can see the earth from a distance, in silence, and tells here more about this work. The text is written by Kerstin Perski, with whom I have worked for many years. We got to know one another when we did the children’s opera Beauty School (Sötskolan) together. I became fascinated with her ability to create texts that have mythological depth, but at the same time are of current interest. In November the opera Stranded (Strandad), which we have worked on together, will have its world premiere at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. In Silent Earth we have worked with improvisation. The theme is the crisis that we see today, both when it comes to the climate and to the politics surrounding this issue. It is a crisis that I feel I must respond to – it is quite simply difficult not to speak of it. So Kerstin and I sat one evening and indulged in fantasies. In our imagination we were on another planet where we could see our own beautiful earth at a distance, in silence. There was something consoling in this. The title Silent Earth is also equivocal; the word silent can mean both calm and quiet. Based on this, I did some improvisations for voice and piano which she responded to with texts that captured the atmosphere in my improvisations. Then I wrote completely new music to these texts. What kind of work is Silent Earth?

Silent Earth is written for choir and orchestra, without soloists. So the choir has to carry the whole textual expression. I have worked with more concentration than ever on the interplay between the voices and the instruments of the orchestra. I’ve let them coalesce or be contrasted with one another. It has turned out to be very dramatic music, and I almost had a fright from the power of it when I was composing. But as it is composed for two of the world’s best choirs (The Netherlands and the Swedish Radio Choirs) I have felt free to pull out all the stops. The second movement is special for me. When a sketch was ready, I let it rest. Later I thought that it had become too romantic. I felt like a painter, wanting to paint over what was beautiful with dissonances and darkness. I often work by letting the music lead me – but in this case it was more obvious than ever. I ask: Music, where are you heading? Where is mankind going? I don’t have any answers – the music shows the way. It is

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a kind of examination of life and what it means to be human. And then what the music conveys is up to each and every listener to determine. The percussion as well plays an important role in Silent Earth. I have experimented together with percussionist Johnny Axelsson and we have both found new modes of expression.

Photo: Agnes Thor

What prompted you to compose Silent Earth?

How do you relate to the theme of the work?

I am very concerned about climate change and today’s political landscape, including the right-wing extremists. And I think that we all must do what we can – and there is no time to lose. Can you believe that they are still building coal power plants, even though we know how the burning of fossil fuels affects the atmosphere! The glaciers are melting and the permafrost is disappearing, we have weather extremes and wildfires – and yet we are not ready to make sacrifices. It is indeed strange how we humans behave. But I also know that it can be hard to strike a balance, I experience this both in my private life and in my profession. We therefore need to reflect, to feel, to cry. We need to be open for impressions. “We learn when we feel”, says Eva Bojner Horwitz, Professor of Music and Health at the Royal College of Music. I believe that music, especially, has a particularly strong capability to channel our emotions. But it shouldn’t be poster art. You have to be open for interpretation. The work had its premiere this January in Amsterdam. What was it like?

It was dramatic. The concert had already been postponed two years because of the pandemic. Amsterdam had opened up after a long lockdown only a few days before the concert and the Concertgebouw had finally been given permission to admit audiences into its large auditorium. But then, just a day before the concert, we were informed that the conductor, Dima Slobodeniouk, had taken ill with Covid. The Choir’s principal conductor, Gijs Leenaars, had to hastily catch the night train from Berlin. There were

no couchettes available, so he took the opportunity to study the score all through the night. As luck would have it, I knew nothing about this before all problems were solved. The concert was a very powerful experience. At the Baltic Sea Festival in August, Slobodeniouk is scheduled to conduct the Swedish premiere of the work, for which I am very happy and grateful. Janna Vettergren

Footnote: Silent Earth was composed for the Netherlands Radio Choir and Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Swedish Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra at the request of the NTR ZaterdagMatinee – Radio 4’s concert series in the Concertgebouw – and the Swedish Radio, for the Baltic Sea Festival. The work is nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize 2022.


REVIEWS Photo: Yanan Li

Cathrine Winnes & Benjamin Staern

Staern’s colourful sonorities Staern’s synaesthesia contributes with a wealth of nuances to a variegated and extremely complicated soundscape, in which his tone painting contains an abundance of quarter-tones and recurrent special effects from the percussionists… Passages from Boulanger echo in the mighty work [Symphony No. 2] with the subtitle “Through Purgatory to Paradise”… It is lavish and grandiose; long, tranquil and ethereal sections are interrupted by powerful bursts of energy. The Royal Philharmonic is in its element and gets the maximum sound out of the instruments under the direction of Cathrine Winnes, who proves to be the perfect interpreter of Staern’s music. Svenska Dagbladet 8.4.

Photo: Saara Vuorjoki

Benjamin Staern: Jubilate, Songs of Dazzingly White Love, Through Purgatory to Paradise – Symphony No. 2 (world premiere) Royal Stockholm PO/Cathrine Winnes, sol. Anna Larsson, alto, 7.4.2022 Stockholm, Sweden (Stockholm Composer Weekend Festival)

A journey through seriousness and beauty What extraordinary beguiling music this is! ...I cannot fully capture the strange, entrancing quality of Eliasson’s works in words: its essence defies description. I can only express my enthusiasm for the music – there is nothing quite like it out there. Performances are phenomenal and sound is excellent… Don’t miss this! American Record Guide May/June 2022

Jennah Vainio

Rapturous Beatbox Concerto The concert ended in rapturous mood. The art music of the future may well be hidden in the beatbox concerto Fujiko’s Fairy Tale by Jennah Vai­ nio, a Finnish composer fast making a name for herself as far away as the USA: multi-genred, multicultural and physically palpable. The wizard soloist, Felix Zenger, left everyone gobsmacked!... beatbox artistry at its most magical. Aamulehti 10.4. Jennah Vainio: Beatbox Concerto ”Fujiko’s Fairy Tale” Tampere PO/Rebecca Tong, sol. Felix Zenger, 8.4.2022 Tampere Biennale, Finland

Eliasson continually offers sonorous surprises. It is brilliant, it is original, shocking and captivating. And the conclusion is: harmonious turbulence, varied unity. At the very end a solitary, soft signal sounds, a tattoo. But everything is not over. Here, too, what is said about jazz musicians who depart this life is true: they never die, they just fade out. Opus #108 March 2022 Anders Eliasson: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4, Concerto per trombone CD: Gothenburg SO/Johannes Gustavsson, Royal Stockholm PO/Sakari Oramo, sol. Anders Paulsson, sopr. sax, Christian Lindberg, tbn (BIS-2368)

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Photo: Dario Acosta

REVIEWS Wennäkoski premiere at Carnergie Hall Throughout, Wennäkoski balances extended technique and expressive lyricism, sometimes layering the two, but bringing the instruments together for affecting silences. Then comes the bright, episodic finale, “The Girl and the Scrapbook:’ which takes flight with up-bow flourishes and a casual reference to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” New York Times 22.4. Lotta Wennäkoski: Pige (String Quartet) World premiere: Danish String Quartet, 21.4.2022 New York, USA

Audience enchanted by powerful Harp Concerto

More great Aho concertos The tranquil first movement of the Double Concerto conjured forth a timeless pastoral mood. …In Vänskä’s hands, it breathed with a throbbing, erratic, onward pulse. As its soloists it had the best possible duo, and they enjoyed working together in clear, poetic dialogue and brilliant, glittering solos. Helsingin Sanomat 13.3. Kalevi Aho: Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra World premiere: Helsinki PO/Osmo Vänskä, sol. Niamh McKenna, fl, Emmanuel Ceysson, hp, 11.3.2022 Helsinki, Finland

Lotta Wennäkoski: Sigla (Harp Concerto) World premiere: Finnish RSO/Nicholas Collon, sol. Sivan Magen, 18.5.2022 Helsinki, Finland Photo: Mikko Kauppinen

Emmanuel Ceysson

Sigla is in many ways a powerful, at times dramatic work… The orchestra roars at times but always in a perfectly calibrated balance with the soloist… It feels like Wennäkoski has lately found a new gear in her already rich style of composition. She moves in a no-man’s land between tradition and modernity which she fills with glittering, colourful, captivatingly sensual, rhythmically lively and emotionally touching content. We can just hope that Sigla receives the international attention it deserves. Hufvudstadsbladet 19.5.

Lotta Wennäkoski

The premiere of the E-flat Clarinet Concerto was impressive – and aurally intoxicating… Aho has an exemplary command of orchestration and succeeds in constructing a mischievous, slightly loony musical adventure out of the Grimmelshausen novel that served as his inspiration. The one-movement work has numerous scenes: despondency, merriment, and a magnificent, brittle ending in which Aho uses a delightful instrumentation – a choir of recorders. Savon Sanomat 26.2. Kalevi Aho: Simplicius simplicissimus (Concerto for E Flat Clarinet and Orchestra) World premiere: Kuopio CO/ Leo McFall, sol. Fatima Boix Cantó, 24.2.2022 Kuopio, Finland

Emmanuel Ceysson

Timeless Schnelzer Schnelzer’s depiction of Burton [A Freak in Burbank] is a present-day commentary on the Sorcerer’s Apprentice... The piano toccata Dance with Devil is a modern classic from the 21st century... In the lovely Apollonian Dances it is impossible not to think of Messiaen’s long-spun meditations for strings, in contrast to caustic klezmer… The highlight and central feature of the album, however, is the violin concerto, Nocturnal Songs, with Ilya Gringolts as the impressive soloist. He can levitate in exquisitely beautiful legatos in the treble register over the orchestra’s pulsating bass, do a rustic dance in 5/4 time or lead a melancholy procession. Opus #110 May 2022 The compositions of the Swedish composer Albert Schnelzer are characterized by an equally appealing and interesting style of writing…Although the works on the album have very different extra-musical backgrounds, they are united by a great intensity and energy with a strong rhythmic and motoric component. Pizzicato 9.3. Albert Schnelzer: A Freak in Burbank, Dance with the Devil, Burn My Letters – Remembering Clara, Apollonian Dances, Frozen Landscape, Violin Concerto No. 2 – Nocturnal Songs CD: Västerås Sinfonietta/Simon Crawford Phillips, sol. Ilya Gringolts, vln, David Huang, pf, Jakob Koranyi, vlc, Henrik Måwe, pf, Cecilia Zilliacus, vln (BIS-2483 ‘A Freak in Burbank’)

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2/2022

Inspiration and powerful expression In his sixth string quartet, Pohjola handles folk songs in the motivic-thematic style of Beethoven, which makes the texture rich, ironically associative and often dynamically snappy… a distinctive work combining a respect for tradition, time travel and a strong modern expressive drive. The seventh quartet begins in flippant vein but then grows serious and romantic, but not without a flash of humour and a sense of adventure. The waltz-like rhythms give the music a dreamy swing. Helsingin Sanomat 2.4. Seppo Pohjola: String Quartets Nos. 6 & 7 World premiere: New Helsinki Quartet, 31.3.2022 Espoo, Finland


PREMIERES June–October 2022 MATTHEW WHITTALL

Waiting to Hear Linda Suolahti, violin, Väinö Jalkanen, piano 8.6. Kittilä, Finland (Silence Festival) Silence Speaks (Hiljaisuus puhuu) Helsinki PO/Susanna Mälkki 14.10. Helsinki, Finland

MATS LARSSON GOTHE

5 Pieces for Glass Östgöta Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Jan-Åke Hermansson, Mikael Wittvång, natural trumpets, Crusell Quintet, Östgöta Brass Quintet, Östgötabandet 11.6. Rejmyre, Sweden Ringraziamento – String Quintet Uppsala Chamber Soloists 11.9. Uppsala Sweden

KALEVI AHO

Le Tombeau de J.K. Pekka Kuusisto, violin 11.6. Naantali, Finland (Naantali Music Festival)

OLLI KORTEKANGAS

Illustration by Emmi Nieminen

Partita concertante Arto Noras, cello and ensemble 15.6. Naantali, Finland (Naantali Music Festival)

Delightful children’s culture There is never too much ambitious or well-crafted children’s culture on offer, so Mäenpää’s Insect Symphony is a valuable addition to the orchestral repertoire… The symphony sets out to explore nature and the miraculous world of little organisms… The music is melodic, as befits a piece for the whole family, and in many places calls to mind the speed and colour of film music. Aamulehti 19.3.

BENJAMIN STAERN

In paradisum: Song for the People of Ukraine St. Jacob Chamber Choir/Gary Graden 16.6. Stockholm, Sweden Sånger om bländvit kärlek (Songs of Dazzingly White Love, version for chamber orchestra) Västerås Sinfonietta/Fredrik Burstedt, sol. Anna Larsson, alto 29.9. Västerås, Sweden

Peter Mattei and Bengt-Åke Lundin

Darkness transformed into light The material consisted of his own texts and musical settings where hopelessness is given a more distinctly vigorous musical language, inspired by Swedish folk and traditional song. Here the dissonances evoke a wintry desolateness, a harshness and chill reminiscent of the atmosphere in Schubert’s “Winterreise”… Mattei fills the lofty ominous words with ample sound. He makes them ring out unsparingly against all the world’s falsehoods, but he also expresses transcending inner stature. And then something remarkable can happen, as so often with Pettersson: darkness is transformed into light. Dagens Nyheter 22.4. Allan Pettersson: Six Songs, 24 Barefoot Songs CD: Peter Mattei, baritone, Bengt-Åke Lundin, pf (BIS-2584 ’Complete Songs’)

Compelling, topical work by Antti Auvinen

JENNAH VAINIO

Queen Bee Nicolas Indermühle, tuba 22.7. Lieksa, Finland (Lieksa Brass Week)

The music of Antti Auvinen is both compelling and topical… The 7-minute work is, in typical Auvinen manner, full of unexpected spatial phenomena and punchy rhythms that create a strong, physical sense of presence. A lot of things happen in Auvinen’s music, but it is not just loud and fast, and in the end, the music is tempered in a really evocative manner. Hufvudstadsbladet 29.3.

TIMO-JUHANI KYLLÖNEN

Ilona irti (monologue opera) Aurora Marthens, soprano, Trio Roozeman 18.8. Espoo, Finland (Organ Night & Aria Festival)

CECILIA DAMSTRÖM

Wastelands Norrlandsoperan SO/Ville Matvejeff 1.9. Umeå, Sweden

Antti Auvinen: Stabat Tiger Mater (Helsinki Variations) World premiere: Helsinki PO/Pekka Kuusisto, 25.3.2022 Helsinki, Finland

TOBIAS BROSTRÖM

Symphony No. 1 – Albedo Gothenburg SO/Santtu-Matias Rouvali 7.10. Gothenburg, Sweden Photo: Eija Tervo

Photo: David Kornfeld

Roope Mäenpää: Insect Symphony (Hyönteissinfonia) World premiere: Tampere PO/Roope Mäenpää, 17.3.2022 Tampere, Finland

MIKKO HEINIÖ

Ehtooveisut for mixed choir Key Ensemble & Krysostomos 8.10 & 9.10. Turku & Helsinki, Finland

SVEN-DAVID SANDSTRÖM

The Book of Life (opera) Norrköping SO/Eric Ericson Chamber Choir/Tobias Ringborg, sol. Miriam Treichl, Jeremy Carpenter, Anna Larsson, Joel Annmo, Olle Persson etc. 14.10. Norrköping, Sweden

DANIEL NELSON

Chaplin Songs Swedish Radio SO/Andrew Manze, sol. Camilla Tilling, soprano 21.10. Stockholm, Sweden

MATTHEW PETERSON

Choral work on texts by E. E. Cummings Swedish Radio Choir/Kaspar Putnins 29.10. Stockholm, Sweden (Sven-David Sandström Memorial Concert)

Antti Auvinen

HIGHLIGHTS

2/2022

9


N E W P U B L I C AT I O N S VOCAL & CHORAL

CHAMBER & INSTRUMENTAL

Sju sånger

Solo XV for marimba O ALF

1

2–202

2

• HUG

N• VÉ

150

Solo XVII for clavichord

FG 9790550117761

Till världens barn (For the Children of the World) Psalm for Save the Children for mixed choir SATB Text: Harry Martinson (Swe)

Mattias Ekström Koij SATB a cappella

Mixed double choir

GE 14198

FG 9790550117655 (score & parts)

LARS KARLSSON

FG 9790550117730

FG 9790550117679 (score & parts)

PETER HALLSTRÖM/ SARAH DAWN FINER

Piano quartet

HARRI WESSMAN

Pan and the Nymph Pitys – Towards the Night for flute and guitar

HELVI LEIVISKÄ

FG 9790550117419 (playing score)

FG 9790550117556 (score & parts)

Kärleksvisan arr: Ulf Esborn for voice and piano Text: Hallström/Dawn Finer (Sw)

Gunnar Nordmark

Höstens sista blomma Tre dikter av Edith Södergran SATB a cappella

Piano trio

SCORES & REDUCTIONS

Sonata for Violin and Piano

Concerto for Flute and Orchestra

FG 9790550117570 (score & parts)

EINAR ENGLUND

FG 9790550117563

Håkan Hellström Björn Olsson

GE 13169

FG 9790550117464 (solo part & piano reduction)

JYRKI LINJAMA

GUNNAR NORDMARK

Höstens sista blomma (The Last Flower of Autumn) for mixed choir SATB Text: Edith Södergran (Swe)

Allerheiligentag V (Sonata for Solo Violin) Ave maris stella

BJÖRN OLSSON

Valborg arr. Simon Ljungman/Fredrik Berglund for mixed choir SATB Text: Håkan Hellström (Sw)

� � � � � � �� � � � � � � �� � � � � � � ��

SATB A CAPPELLA

A�

��

� �� � � � � � � �� � � per Virgo, Fe-lix cae-li porta.

- ve ma-ris stella, De- i Ma-ter alma, Atque sem-

PER GUNNAR PETERSSON

Sven-David Sandström text: Rainer Maria Rilke

Ave maris stella for mixed choir SATB Text in Latin

SVEN-DAVID SANDSTRÖM

ESA PIETILÄ

GE 13297 (score), GE 13298 (string parts)

Lyssna till jorden (Listen to the Earth) for mixed choir SSAATTBB Text: Native American proverbs (Swe)

Agneta Sköld

Lyssna till jorden

#SWEDISHCHORALMUSIC 2022 ANNA CEDERBERG ORRETEG

Natten då stjärnorna föll (The Night of Falling Stars) for mixed choir SATB Text: David Carlsson (Sw), English transl. Anna Högberg GE 14260 SATB

Liknöjd fauna

G 9790550117778 (solo part & piano reduction)

GÉZA SZILVAY

The Vein Bleeds Silver for solo violin

Colourstrings Violin ABC: Book G5 Sixth and seventh positions

Fata morgana for harpsichord

FG 9790550115989

The Wind Wants for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn & bassoon

Book G5 (Sixth and Seventh positions) completes the Colourstrings series to be the first violin method that covers tutors and repertoire from the first steps until professional studies.

FG 9790550117631 (score & parts)

LARA POE

Musings for solo violin

FG 9790550117792

Triton for solo trumpet

FG 9790550117723

Piano accompaniments for Book G5 FG 9790550116948

GÉZA SZILVAY – DAVID BANNEY

Kreutzerini (for viola) 42 Finger Exercises for perfect intonation in the first position. Supplementary material for the Colourstrings Viola ABC Book B. FG 9790550117587

For further information contact us at:

MARIE SANDELL

Liknöjd fauna (Indifferent Fauna) for mixed choir SATB and solo trio Text: Aase Berg (Sw) GE14271

SCORE

Daniel Nelson

SATB divisi a cappella

GE 14063

for string orchestra

KAI NIEMINEN

FG 9790550117648

AGNETA SKÖLD

Anna Cederberg-Orreteg Text David Carlson

Il viaggio del cavaliere … (inesistente) Concerto for violin and orchestra

GE 14049

Drei Rilkegesänge for soprano and string quartet Text: Rainer Maria Rilke (Ger)

That Night of Falling Stars

Lähi for violin and clarinet

Jacob Mühlrad PRISM

GE 14132 (score)

DANIEL NELSON

SCORE

Natten då stjärnorna föll

Prism for string orchestra

The Vein Bleeds Silver for solo violin

GE 14179

SCORE

JACOB MÜHLRAD

ROOPE MÄENPÄÄ

Bloom for euphonium or tuba & piano or solo euphonium

FG 9790550117488 (playing score)

Drei Rilkegesänge für Sopran und Streichquartett

Symphonies for Brass Band

GE 14273 (score), GE 14274 (parts), GE 14275 (study score)

FG 9790550117709

FG 9790550117624

GE 14270

Mats Larsson Gothe

Symphonies for Brass Band Five explorations in sound for 25 brass players and 4 percussionists

FG 9790550117693 I arrangemang för SATB av Fredrik Berglund Simon Ljungman

PER GUNNAR PETERSSON

SATB

MATS LARSSON GOTHE

Allerheiligentag IV for viol

Valborg

GE 14200

Marie Sandell Text Aase Berg

Mien for alto flute, cor anglais, clarinet, horn & bassoon

30 Concert Etudes for low horn

Suite for Helena (Svit för Helena) for wind quintet

SCORE

FG 9790550117716 (score & parts)

TOMMI HYYTINEN

A Wilderness of Sea for mixed choir Text: W. Shakespeare (Eng)

String Quartet No. 3

Hem (Päärme) for piano trio

FG 9790550117747

ALEX FREEMAN

Stråkkvartett nr 3

LOTTA WENNÄKOSKI

FG 9790550117754 (score & parts)

Silent Steps

Playground Jonas Valfridsson

GE 14092 (score), GE 14093 (parts)

ALEX FREEMAN

Nana Forte

Albert Schnelzer

String Quartet No. 3

String Quartet No. 1

Silent Steps for double choir SATB a cappella Text: Rabindranath Tagore (Eng)

score

five short pieces for solo piano

FG 9790550117686

NANA FORTE

viola, violoncello and contrabass

JONAS VALFRIDSSON

Singel Excelsis for organ

GE 14272

Notions for clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin,

GE 14183

ANTTI AUVINEN

Till världens barn

Förnimmelser

ALBERT SCHNELZER

Playground five short pieces for solo piano These pieces were premiered by Henrik Måwe on YouTube 11-25 April 2022.

FG 9790550114890 87

Marie Samuelsson

GE 12920 (score), GE 12921 (parts)

FG 9790550114944 (score & parts)

i arrangemang för damkör

MATTIAS EKSTRÖM KOIJ

Fem animaliska satser för tre solister och kör a cappella

Notions (Förnimmelser) for cl, bsn, hn, vln, vla, vlc, db

Berliner Bagatelle for wind quintet

HUGO ALFVÉN

GE 14277

Indifferent Fauna

MARIE SAMUELSSON

KALEVI AHO

HUGO ALFVÉN

Sju sånger (Seven Songs) arr: Gabriel Wilczkowski, David Lundblad, Robert Sund and Jan Åke Hillerud for female choir SSAA Texts: G. Alexandersson, H. Sätherberg, Bishop Thomas, K. Hed, Trad. (Sw)

Gehrmans Musikförlag AB

Box 42026, SE-126 12 Stockholm, Sweden Tel. +46 8 610 06 00 info@gehrmans.se Web shop: www.gehrmans.se Hire: hire@gehrmans.se Sales: order@gehrmans.se

Fennica Gehrman Oy Ab

PO Box 158, FI-00121 Helsinki, Finland Tel. +358 10 3871 220 info@fennicagehrman.fi Web shop: www.fennicagehrman.fi Hire: hire@fennicagehrman.fi Sales: customerservice@kirjavalitys.fi

Most new publications and other works (such as Solo pieces by Kalevi Aho) are also available as pdf files in Fennica Gehrman’s web shop.


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