Nordic Highlights No 2 2021

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Iiro Rantala Iiro Rantala has received an exciting opera commission from the Komische Oper Berlin: Die Zaubermelodika will be premiered on 24 October 2021. A sequel to Die Zauberflöte, this opera features the same cast – with a characteristic Rantala twist to the libretto by Minna Lindgren. Rantala’s first opera, Pikaparantola (Sanatorio Express) will receive its Australian premiere also in October and his Double Concerto for violin, piano and orchestra is to be premiered in January 2022 by the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, his orchestra partner for many years. Crossing musical and generic borders comes naturally to Finnish composer-pianist Rantala who is especially known for his jazz career. Fennica Gehrman has signed a publishing agreement with him, and two new collections are already out: Ajatuksia (Pieces of My Mind) and Hymyi­levä Apollo (The Smiling Apollo).

Stenhammar festival in Stockholm





Editors: Henna Salmela and Kristina Fryklöf Translations: Susan Sinisalo and Robert Carroll Cover photos: Cecilia Damström (Elina Lukinajova), Žibuoklė Martinaitytė (Tomas Terekas), Iiro Rantala (ACT/Gregor Hohenberg) Design: Tenhelp Oy Click the sound

and video symbols

ISSN 2000-2750 (Online)




The German convention on 23-26 September in Hannover is one of Europe’s major events for choral music. This year’s theme is ‘Nordic Music’ and Gehrmans Musikförlag has been invited to a number of lectures and to have an exhibit in collaboration with the Swedish Music Publishers Association. Professor Anders Eby and the project leader for Gehrmans’ film series #swedishchoralmusic, Janna Vettergren, will talk about the strong ties between composers, choirs, conductors and publishers, which over the last decades have provided a unique and world-famous breeding ground for choral music in Sweden. Florian Benfer will be there to conduct the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir and collaborate with Gehrmans in a reading of the publisher’s most interesting concert repertoire just now. Composer Karin Rehnqvist will participate in a master class in composition together with conductor Fredrik Malmberg, and there will also be a reading session dedicated to music by Fredrik Sixten. Furthermore, the new German version of Rolf Martinsson’s St. Luke Passion will be presented.

Pehr Henrik Nordgren festival

From 22 September to 3 October the Stockholm Concert Hall will arrange a big festival to celebrate Wilhelm Stenhammar’s 150th anniversary. The music at the festival will include, the two symphonies and both piano concertos, Two Sentimental Romances and other orchestral works, all six string quartets, and furthermore there will be a concert with his songs and piano Mats Larsson Gothe music.

Other material is available at

Gehrmans at 2021

Photo: Anna Thorbjörnsson

Photo: ACT/Gregor Hohenberg


in the text.

Music by Pehr Henrik Nordgren will be in focus in September when his opera Den svarta munken (The Black Monk) receives two performances in Helsinki. The conductor is Teemu Hämäläinen, the stage director Ville Saukkonen and the soloists include Kristian Lindroos, Hedvig Paulig and Aki Alamikkotervo. Producer Tero-Pekka Henell has also plans for other program and performances around the opera.

Sibelius Concert Overture – a sensational discovery One of the works heard at the concert by the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra in Helsinki on 26 May was a 12-minute Concert Overture for small chamber orchestra by Jean Sibelius, in its very first performance. The Masked Musicians concert was also broadcast, and it is available in YouTube. It was conducted by Tuomas Hannikai­ nen, who discovered the Sibelius material while studying the manuscript of the opera The Maiden in the Tower. Rental material will be available from Fennica Gehrman in September.

Anders Eby

Paulsson’s Celebration Suite

Photo: Tomas Terekas

New composer: Žibuoklė Martinaitytė

Anders Paulsson’s Celebration Suite for orchestra has now been published by Gehrmans. Commissioned for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of democracy in South Africa, it was premiered in 2013 by the MIAGI Youth Orchestra at the Soweto Theatre in Johannesburg, and subsequently performed on a tour of Europe with premiere at the Berliner Philharmonie in 2014. Nelson Mandela’s dream of a multi-ethnic rainbow nation is mirrored in this suite, that incorporates musical elements from South African freedom songs, folk music, jazz and the Western classical tradition.

Žibuoklė Martinaitytė is a new name in Fennica Gehr­man’s composer roster. Born in Lithuania in 1973, she studied composition at the Lithuanian Music Academy and took part in various composition workshops and courses in Europe, studying with Brian Ferneyhough, Magnus Lindberg, Tristan Murail, Jonathan Harvey and others. At the moment she lives in New York. Her music often revolves around the subject of beauty, which she calls both a guiding principle and an aesthetic measure for sonic quality. Her four orchestral works, Saudade, Millefleur, Horizons and Chiaroare all included in the new Ondine scuro Trilogy album hailed in the New York Times, Gramophone Magazine and BBC Music Magazine. The Stereophile Magazine chose it as the Recording of April (see: Reviews). Read more about Martinaitytė and her works on our composer page.

New overtures by Samuelsson and Schnelzer The Norrlandsopera Symphony Orchestra, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, will open the season on 2 September with the specially composed overture Läten för en ny tid (Sounds for a New Era) by Marie Samuelsson. The concert is conducted by Patrik Ringborg. Albert Schnelzer has composed an overture, Through the Eyes of Pegasus, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the reopening of Alte Oper in Frankfurt, which was partly destroyed during World War II. This work is an homage to the people who with their hard work saw to it that the opera house is still standing. Alain Altinoglu will conduct the HR-Sinfonieorchester in the premiere on 28 August.

Mats Larsson Gothe – festival composer in Korsholm

Photo: Mats Lundqvist

Photo: Mats Bäcker

Marie Samuelsson

Reetta Ristimäki

Photo: Jesper Lindgren

One of the items on the programme for the Helsinki Contemporary Opera Festival is the premiere of the monologue opera by Pasi Lyytikäinen Der unveröffentlichte Film der Eva Braun to a libretto in German by Maritza Núñez. This new festival focusing on contemporary Finnish chamber opera will be held for the first time, at the Alexander Theatre in Helsinki, in August-September 2021 and will present works with export potential. Lyytikäinen’s opera will have four performances 2.–5.9. Cast in the leading role will be Reetta Ristimäki, backed by a six-piece chamber ensemble. The work was commissioned by Finnish Chamber Opera.

Photo: Markku Pihlaja

Eva Braun opera by Pasi Lyytikäinen

Mats Larsson Gothe is this year’s composer-in-residence at the Korsholm Music Festival on 28.7.-4.8. In the opening concert we will hear the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra perform his string orchestra piece Lied von der Erde. Another seven of his works will be heard during the week; the chamber opera Ringen (The Ring), his third string quartet, Epilogos for cello and piano, Ricerco for bassoon etc. The artistic leader Cecilia Zilliacus will give the world premiere of his Caccio for solo violin. The festival will be a hybrid of both live and streamed concerts. You will find the complete programme at

Albert Schnelzer




Photo: Elina Lukijanova

1. Your strong passion for universal human issues is something that reappears in your composing. You say that you want to get people to think and feel. How does this affect your creativity and is this an important driving force? For me music is emotion, and these issues evoke strong emotions in me; therefore I feel it’s natural to transform them into music. It’s my hope that if I can make people feel and think, they will themselves have a desire to take action, to be a part of the change for a better world. So yes, that is my driving force, in music as well as in life. The theme that permeates all my works can be described in a nutshell with the word equality, a love for all beings that live, grow and exist. 2. In February the orchestral work Nixus was premiered by the Joensuu City Orchestra, a work that you have dedicated to all persons suffering from mental illness. Yes, this past year has been psychically stressful for many people and mental illness has increased at an alarming rate, above all among our youth. With this work I want to initiate a discussion about the subject, which still today seems quite taboo. The music describes experiences of how mental disorders can also be manifested in the form of physical symptoms, like palpitations and chest pressure. 3. Environment and climate are issues you address in a number of your compositions, as in the highly acclaimed and dramatic choral work Requiem for Our Earth , and in your latest orchestral work ICE, commissioned by the City of Lahti – European Green Capital 2021. Could you tell us something about these works? I have been fortunate enough to get commissions with themes that interest me. Requiem for Our Earth, for women’s choir, electronics, video projections and lighting, is a 30-minute work that




Seven questions for

Cecilia Damström pinpoints many different aspects of how humans have an effect on the environment and the climate. The work starts out with Greta Thunberg’s speech from Davos, ”Our House Is on Fire”. It also calls into question mining, logging and meat production. The orchestral work ICE (In Case of Emergency), is entirely different. Here I have chosen only to depict the melting ice and how the winters are getting ever shorter while the alarm signals are blaring. But in this work a bicycle bell, (representing fossil free transportation), comes to the ”rescue”; just as the earth is struggling for its existence it comes in and turns everything around. We hear a ”rewind” of what has happened and return to the beautiful winter landscape. So this work ends on a note of hope; we CAN influence the climate in a positive way as well, if we really want to. The piece will be premiered on 6 August on a large video screen in front of the Helsinki Music Centre together with an ice sculpture. It will also be performed at a concert in the Sibelius Hall with Sinfonia Lahti and Dalia Stasevska on 20 January next year. 4. The female perspective, too, is an urgent issue for you. In a triptych of quintets you have been inspired by the life stories of three strong Finnish women. How did you get this idea? For example, if you look at the characters that are depicted in operas, 90 % are ”great men”. With this fact in mind I felt that NOW is the time to make a change in that regard. I had the privilege to be composer-in-residence at the festival Musequal in Janakkala, and that afforded me the opportunity of realising my idea: a triptych of quintets depicting events, emotions and nuances from the lives of three female Finnish culture figures. The piano quintet Minna is about Finland’s ”first” feminist, author Minna Canth, who was both married and had a career as a writer. The second quintet, Aino for Pierrot ensemble, is about Aino Sibelius whose life work was to make possible her husband’s career (Jean Sibe­ lius), and the third, Helene for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and piano, is inspired by Helene Schjerfbeck, Finland’s foremost modernistic artist who never married because of her career. Thus literature, music and pictorial art are considered, at the same time as we have women who are married, single and widowed, inspirational personalities who have to a high degree left their mark on Finland’s cultural life.

5. You have had great success with the orchestral work Tundo! , dedicated to the more than 65 million refugees in the world today. It was last performed in Oulu this February and before that by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in December. You were also just in time to attend the American premiere in Colorado Springs last year before the pandemic necessitated closure of all borders. It is a very powerful work, both literally and emotionally. The music depicts very graphically the people knocking on Europe’s door and not least the perilous boat journeys over the stormy seas. How has this work been received by the audience? Tundo! is a very important work for me. It had its premiere by the Gävle Symphony Orchestra in 2018 and was already then given an enthusiastic reception. In Finland the last two performances of the work were given for empty auditoriums but were live-streamed. And judging from the hundreds of positive messages I received after the TV-broadcast performance with the Finnish Radio Symphony, it seems to have made quite an impression on many people. In the USA, the reception in late February 2020 was more manifest as the audiences in both sold-out concerts gave the work standing ovations. 6. Can you tell us about what you have in the pipeline just now? I have many exciting projects going on, for instance a work for string orchestra for Styrsö Chamber Music Days this coming August, and a violin concerto on the theme of climate change for Pekka Kuusisto and Tampere Raw. After which I will compose two works for symphony orchestra. It feels really good to be able to write for so many different soloists, ensembles and orchestras, the variety makes everything so much more stimulating. 7. You have just received a scholarship that will enable you to be artist-in-residence at Internationales Künstlerhaus Concordia in Bamberg 20212022. What are your expectations for this year? It was an incredible honour to be nominated for this residency! I am really looking forward to experiencing Germany. It has already now been highly rewarding to get to know artists from other disciplines too, writers as well as pictorial artists, and I anticipate opening up new dimensions within myself as an artist. Kristina Fryklöf

Nature in music

chose poems by an American farmer, poet, and environmentalist, Wendell Berry. The cantata ends with these enigmatic words:

Photo: Helena Tuomela

Nature is like a ‘lifelong companion’ for Kalevi Aho. He spends his summers in the beautiful scenery of his seaside villa in Turku, where there is always something to do outside, such as chopping firewood. And the birds provide such a concert that he feels sad when summer ends and they fall silent. Water, waves, wind or birds may find their way into the scores of Kalevi Aho. He became very familiar with the Lapland landscape, especially This was with his Luosto Symphony (No. 12). premiered out of doors, at the foot of Luosto Fell, with the audience spread across the hillside. The impression made on Aho by the extreme northern seasons and light is also apparent in his Eight Seasons concerto for theremin . Its movements depict the eight distinct seasons in Lapland. Endangered flora also occupy a place close to his heart, especially the rare pasque flower (Pulsatilla patens) growing in a place shielded from passers-by to which he makes a pilgrimage every spring. Aho is not afraid of being outspoken about the present state of our world. “Overpopulation, the destruction of our biodiversity, global warming – these are all grave problems in the light of which the future does not look good and we may face major global catastrophes. Nature nevertheless generates a link with something genuine,” he says. “We humans need beauty, silence and the starry sky.” “I always strive to pay attention to the passing moment of beauty and, in appreciating it, allow it to expand beyond the moment, to fill my whole mind with its exquisiteness. In being mindful of those rare moments, we touch on the eternal, something larger than ourselves.” This quote from Matthew Whittall can be applied to music and nature – or to anything we choose to cherish and appreciate.

Photo: Ghadi Boustani

Photo: Saara Vuorjoki

generations, still keeping its strong connection with nature. Similar feelings are expressed in Lappic for chamber orchestra (2003) and his third symphony, Crossroads. All four string quartets by Kai Nieminen have been inspired by the wintry atmosphere and light of Maritime Lapland. Gestures of Winter bears (No. 3) the epithet Time Around Northern Night Skies… and No. 4 is entitled . Sogni del mare Nieminen’s works often have an extra-musical stimulus, and the Mediterranean south is as important to him as the northern winter. His first symphony, Selva, was somewhat transformed during the final stage of its composition, when Nieminen woke up in the middle of the night and the mist (nebbia) enshrouding the landscape demanded to be let into the music. The bird motif in the fifth movement is entrusted to a picthe solo colo. In the flute concerto Palomar, part evokes images of a bird that flits across the nocturnal sky. The idea for this came to Nieminen while he was staying in Rome and the insistent birdsong kept him awake in the heat of the night. The sea is an important element for Olli Kortekangas – a keen outdoor person who has spent most of his summers by the sea in the SW Finland archipelago. Kortekangas does not draw direct parallels between nature and composing; if any exist, they are only subconscious. His works do, however, bear (choral suite, titles such as Mediterranean Sea 2002) or Sea Stones, Shore Stones (Meren kivet, rannan kivet) for choir and strings. The subjects of his songs are often earth, sea and light. Kortekangas pays great attention to the choice of texts. An example is the symphonic cantata Seven Songs for Planet Earth (premiered by the Choral Arts Society of Washington in 2011). It addresses the relationship between man and nature. The commissioners requested a work with an ecological slant to its text and Kortekangas

When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s life may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Photo: Päivi Kortekangas

Anyone listening to the music of Matthew Whittall may sense his love of nature. There are many examples in his work list. Devil’s Gate for oboe, bassoon and piano was inspired by the scenery in Lapland dear to him and, he says, the musical structures trace the topography of for chorus the landscape. The Return of Light and chamber orchestra was sparked off by an account by Arctic explorer Julius von Payer of the first time he saw the sun rise after the long winter darkness. ”A return to joy – that is sacred, silent and pure.” was inThe piano suite Leaves of Grass spired by the poems of Walt Whitman. Whittall was able to unleash his imagination in depicting nature with pieces such as Lingering Last Drops, Out of the Rolling Ocean or A Noiseless Patient Spider. In his piano concerto Nameless Seas (dedicated to Angela Hewitt and Risto-Matti Marin) the piano acts as a channel for elemental forces surging up from the orchestra, floating on its constantly shifting surface. In the finale, Unclaimed Waters, it is engulfed by a series of ever-taller waves, ultimately dissolving into a rippling continuum of sound. Whittall nevertheless says he has a very unsentimental view of nature. There is no such thing as natural beauty for him – nature just is. “The wonder lies in our ability to find beauty in it, and to communicate that experience to one another.” Born in Kuusamo near the Arctic Circle, Ta­pio Tuomela calls himself a northern boy and a nature lover – his hobbies include skiing and fly fishing. He still has firm links with the northerly regions of Finland and this affection for the arctic nature and its elemental power is reflected in many ways in his works. for chamber orHe got the idea for Jokk chestra during a fishing trip to the River Näätämö. for Vuohenki Luohti (The Song of Vuohenki) mezzo-soprano and orchestra is a setting of a text by the Lappish poet Nils-Aslak Valkeapää in the Sámi language. The poems describe living in Lapland and how tradition is passed down through

Photo: Maarit Kytöharju

How do Finnish composers describe their relationship with nature, and how is it reflected in their music? The landscapes of the north have, in particular, been an inspiration for many, as have the sea, light and birds. But is nature still, as it was for Sibelius, the source of a profound experience and beauty? Or is it more and more a cause for concern on which a composer can take a stand in music?

Henna Salmela




REPER TOIR E TIPS KALEVI AHO Rejoicing of the Deep Waters (Syvien vesien juhla) (1995) Dur: 10’ 3333-4331-11-str

This symphonic fantasy, inspired by his opera Before We Are All Drowned, is one of Aho’s most dramatically intense pieces for orchestra. The impassioned outer sections are characterized by the forceful statements from the brass, woodwind and strings while relief is presented in the middle part by the chorale sections.

,...Freezing Were the Restless Waters (1995-96) Dur: 9’ str

This is the first movement from Aho’s Chamber Symphony No. 3. It opens softly and mysteriously, with fascinating dialogues between numerous string sonorities and glissandi. Eventually an ominous rhythmic motive begins to consume the musical landscape; the movement ends, however, with a return to the opening texture.

HUGO ALFVÉN A Legend from the Skerries (En Skärgårdssägen) (1904) Dur: 16’ 3344-4231-12-2hp-str

A symphonic tone poem describing the outskirts of the archipelago in a nocturnal atmosphere of autumn with glittering moonlight, with stormy weather, in dreamy tranquillity and in a life struggle – a depiction that simultaneously lets the nature images throughout offer an analogue to the dark bliss of human passion.

ERIK BERGMAN Musica Marina (1993-94) Dur: 11’ str

This is music inspired by the sea and it is also a homage to the building of the ship Jacobstads Wapen that made its maiden voyage in 1994. The first movement generates an energy which permeates the whole work, except for the second movement, May Night, which conveys the atmosphere of a spring evening in the North. Here a solo cello makes its appearance – a solitary person’s meditation and emotions.

BOBBIE ERICSON/ ARR. ANDERS WAHLGREN Outer Skerries (Utskärgård) (1962) Dur: 3’ 2121-2330-11-hp-str

An undulating waltz-melody that brings to mind carefree, salt-sprinkled summer days with boat trips in the archipelago. Originally written for piano but often performed in this well-known arrangement for orchestra by Anders Wahlgren.

Music on the theme of sea and water KIMMO HAKOLA Maro (2006) Dur: 15’

3333-4331-12-​hp-pf-str OR 2222-2221-02-hp-pf-str

Maro was a commission from the Swedish Radio for the Baltic Sea Festival. Though a musical sea picture, it also takes a stand on the pollution of the Baltic Sea, about which Hakola is as concerned as he is by climate warming. The result is an orchestral epic of both beautiful sounds and fierce energy. Around the middle it rides waves of timbral webs and from there proceeds to an effective build-up.

UUNO KLAMI Sea Pictures (Merikuvia) (1930-32) Dur: 22’ 2222-4231-11-hp-pf-str

Klami was called the impressionist of Finnish music and he was influenced by French and Spanish music. His use of melody is here at its most beautiful. The second movement, Captain Scrapuchinat, has some exotic de-Falla-like brushstrokes. The finale, 3 Bf, is the most popular movement, frequently played on its own, and it is often said to resemble Ravel’s Bolero.

HELENA MUNKTELL Breakers (Bränningar) (1895) Dur: 12’ 3322-4231-12-1-str

A symphonic picture and a graphic depiction of the sea inspired by a sojourn on the Riviera in the early 1890s. The piece captures the turbulence of the sea and the unpredictability of the waves, with their continual fluctuations of character and colour in the imaginative orchestral texture.

GUSTAF NORDQVIST Till havs (At Sea) (1922) Dur: 3’ for high or medium voice and orchestra: 2222-2231-11-str Text: Jonatan Reuter (Sw)

Nordqvist’s vivid setting of the Finland-Swedish poet Jonatan Reuter’s text is an impassioned homage to the sea. The piece came to be one of the Swedish star tenor Jussi Björling’s big showpieces.

GÖSTA NYSTROEM Sinfonia del Mare (1947-48) Dur: 37’ for soprano and orchestra: 3333-4331-12-hp-pf-cel-str Text: Ebba Lindqvist (Sw/Eng/It/Fr/Ger)

Nystroem often used the sea as a source of inspiration in his impressionistically tinged music. His Third Symphony is dedicated to ”all the sailors upon the seven seas” and opens with quietly rumbling timpani and double basses, followed by a soft, billowing melody that brings to mind gentle swells. Violently whipped up waves take over in a rhythmically profiled allegro section. The central point of the symphony is the vocal lento movement, an extremely beautiful setting of Ebba Lindqvist’s poem ‘Det enda (The Only Thing)’, which concludes with the words ”all this I should gladly forsake for one breath of the wind from the sea.”




ANDERS PAULSSON Coral Symphony – Kumulipo Reflections (2016) Dur: 17’

for Hawaiian chant (reciter) or baritone and orchestra: 3333-4231-14-hp-cel-str Text: Trad. (The Kumulipo)/transl. Martha Warren Beckwith (Eng)

This tone poem is based on the Hawaiian creation myth ‘Kumulipo’ that begins with the words: ”And born was the coral polyp…”. A Hawaiian Pahu drum sets a ceremonial rhythm that evokes the spirits of ancient Hawaii as the evolution of the species grows exponentially. The story is conveyed by a Hawaiian chant or is sung by a baritone, while the colourful orchestral attire creates images of the mighty sea, and above all the swarming life under its surface. The work is intended to be performed together with a coral reef slideshow

EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA On the Last Frontier (Viimeisellä rajalla) (1998) Dur: 24’ Fantasy for chorus (SATB) and orchestra: 3233-4331-12-hp-str Text: Rautavaara after Edgar Allan Poe (Eng)

This fantasy opens with a sumptuous, mysterious orchestral section. Beautiful, shining flute and oboe solos against a choral background alternate with a sea of orchestral sound in stormy majesty. As the poem proceeds, the choir transports the listener on a mysterious voyage towards the horizons of the unknown.

Daughter of the Sea (Meren tytär) (1971) Dur: 17’ Concerto for soprano, mixed choir and orchestra: 3333-4331-12-hp-str Text: Phonetics Rautavaara forbade the performance of this work after his divorce from his first wife, for whom it was composed, but later changed his mind. Written a year before the popular Cantus arcticus, it affords an exciting vista of his music in the early 1970s. It was born when Rautavaara was adapting his Violin Concerto as a concerto for soprano and entered it for a composition competition in which he shared the first prize with Aulis Sallinen.


Oratorio for soprano, baritone, mixed choir and symphony orchestra: 3333-4331-13-hp-pf/cel-str Text: K. Boye, E. Södergran, M. Elmblad, D. Andersson (Sw)

The themes of this cantata are the sea, travel and migration. Here the sea can be something that is both full of promise and thrilling, but at the same time frightful. The soloists can be considered representatives for the above themes, the soprano as an image of the sea and the baritone soloist as a representative for mankind. All the texts have a connection with the sea and musically there are even some references to works such as La Mer by Debussy. The work was composed for the 400th anniversary of the city of Gothenburg in 2021.

BENJAMIN STAERN En strimma hav (A Streak of the Sea) (2020) Dur: 10’

for choir, young players and orchestra: 2222-4231-13 Text: Edith Södergran (Sw)

This work, commissioned by El Sistema Sweden for their 10th anniversary, is inspired by Södergran’s poem ‘A Streak of the Sea’. The music is dramatic, expansive and filled with energy. It starts out calmly and quietly, but the waves grow increasingly stronger the farther into the work we come. The composer has also had climate change and the risk of future floods in mind. The work was written as part of the project ”Side by Side”, where musicians from professional symphony orchestras play together with the youngsters from El Sistema.

REVIEWS Freeman’s rich imagination

A remarkable journey

Could this be the year when contemporary choral composers such as Alex Freeman, Helena Tulve and Matthew Whittall finally emerge from the shadows of better-known figures… Clarity of thought, purpose and gesture allied with a broad-brushstroke directness are recurring features, which often reveal hidden depths. Like Sibelius and Rautavaara, Freeman’s music can be appreciated on multiple levels. Another quality is that his music covers a wide stylistic compass without ever sounding obviously polystylistic. Gramophone 20.3.

Airy tonal veils flit by like quickly changing clouds in expected as well as unexpected formations, but it is a music that expands, reveals itself and attains its fixed form only gradually. Here there is vulnerable fragility, but at the same time also a strong will to expression, and energy. And having listened actively through the nearly hour-long work, it feels as if one has undertaken a journey remarkably rich in powerful experiences… Whether or not ”Decampment” is destined to become a future classic remains to be seen; it certainly has the potential, but it is above all an important piece to hear and reflect on here and now. Sydsvenskan 5.5. Sven-David Sandström: Uppbrott (Decampment) CD: Adolf Fredrik Church Chamber Choir & Orchestra/Christoffer Holgersson, sol. Hanna Husáhr, soprano, Olle Persson, baritone (Daphne 1070)

The combination of composer Alex Freeman’s profound familiarity with the choir as an instrument and the Helsinki Chamber Choir is little short of heavenly. The well-known liturgical text likewise becomes intimate and captivating in Freeman’s rich imagination… I hope that professional choirs, not only in Finland, will have a chance to perform the work. Hufvudstadsbladet 16.3.

Overwhelming beauty

The album’s moods range from quiet, sublime atmospheres, to intoxicatingly ecstatic moments, such as in “Anim Zemirot” (2012), Mühlrad’s earliest choral work, whose emotional openness is deeply moving. The young Swede’s choral settings have an overwhelming beauty and the Swedish Radio Choir interprets them with passion. Klassik Akzente 24.3.

Marvelous music by Martinaitytė

As I returned again and again to this marvelously spacious and detailed album I became convinced that music lovers of all stripes will enjoy exploring its haunting mystery… Her control of orchestral expression of chiaroscuro seems absolute. …Rarely has melancholy been so mesmerizing… I visualized a universe stretching beyond limits. Your consciousness may stretch, too, if you give this marvelous music the time and concentration it deserves. Stereophile Magazine 18.3. Žibuoklė Martinaitytė: Saudade, Millefleur, Horizons, Chiaroscuro Trilogy CD: Lithuanian National SO, Lithuanian CO/ Giedrė Šlekytė, sol. Gabrielius Alekna, piano (Ondine ODE1386-2)

Photo: Eija Tervo

In practice, the album succeeds on every level… The title track [Time] is a paean to human connectivity…a simultaneous celebration of cultural differences and of the essence which unites them all. ‘Nigun’ swells the emotional dimension that spirituality demands, tapping into a plaintive, melodic strain, while ‘Anim Zemirot’ draws a measure of anguish from the glissando of its voices, but meets it full bridle with waves of comfort, rapture and presence, the effect of which on the listener is that of being seen, of never being alone. ‘Kaddish’ is the most direct, personal expression here, with Mühlrad interspersing extracts from the Jewish prayer for the dead with words of his own for his deceased grandfather, a Holocaust survivor. It does not hide from the pain but embraces it as the essential part of life that it is, another marker that Mühlrad is composing beyond his years. Loud & Quite 31.3.

Antti Auvinen

Auvinish sound magic

Auvinen’s new Guitar Concerto is an exciting work, a journey from nightmarish, surrealistic mindscapes to the bright, Andalusian guitar poetry of the fourth movement…Auvinen has a very original, imaginative feel for timbre mixed with noise and microintervals. The broad tone-colour potential of two percussionists and the special electric instruments emitting strange, ghostly sounds give the concerto a feel all of its own… Lyrical serenity prevails in the fourth movement. From his guitar Kumela conjured forth Andalusian arabesques and poetically tinkling progressions, and created sentiment with a soft vibrato. Helsingin Sanomat 29.4.

Jacob Mühlrad: Time, Anim Zemirot, Nigun, Kaddish CD: Swedish Radio Choir, cond. Ragnar Bohlin, Fredrik Malmberg (Deutsche Grammophon 00028948556182 ‘Time’)

Photo: Harri Tarvainen

Fantastic Aho Clarinet Concerto

Aho’s concerto is a magnum opus in terms of both size and content. The work delves deep into the clarinet’s expressive potential: from screeching double notes to loving melodiousness, from sassy virtuosity to limpid melancholy. …Every one of the extended expressive devices seemed to be not just an effect but a narrative tool. … At the virtuoso points Aho’s Clarinet Concerto comes close to that by Carl Nielsen; they have the same anarchistic exuberance. Rondo 5/2021 Kalevi Aho: Clarinet Concerto Oulu SO/Anu Tali, sol. Michał Konopiński, 1.4.2021 Oulu, Finland

Alex Freeman: Under the Arching Heavens: A Requiem, A Wilderness of Sea CD: Helsinki Chamber Choir/Nils Schweckendiek (BIS-2592)

Antti Auvinen: Guitar Concerto “Andalusian Panzerwagen Jazz” World premiere: Finnish RSO/Dalia Stasevska, sol. Petri Kumela, 28.4.2021 Helsinki, Finland

Hidden within this sizzling, frenzied music is something clearly melodic – as hinted by the title of the piece… The video material included an installation intriguingly named by Auvinen in Kinderlieder spirit. Karjalainen 27.3.

Oulu Sinfonia

Antti Auvinen: Cantus fresco disco for orchestra and video World premiere: Joensuu CO/Eero Lehtimäki, 25.3.2021 Joensuu, Finland HIGHLIGHTS








Tommie Haglund

La rosa profunda version for soprano and piano Text: Jorge Luis Borges/ transl. Alastair Reid (Eng)

Playing from the Core A new method for French horn (In English). This book brings new perspectives to instrumental practice by examining the interaction of mind and body.

Text: Jorge Luis Borges

La rosa profunda version for soprano and piano


A Fanfare for Herbert Blomstedt for orchestra

FG 979-0-55011-555-2


Colourstrings Violin ABC: G Books Book G1 - Second Position FG 979-0-55011-594-1

Book G2 - Third Position FG 979-0-55011-595-8

Piano accompaniments for G books FG 979-0-55011-646-7

pedagoger och pianister, orgellärare och kyrkomusiker, såväl till professionella


niskt övande. Den bärande tanken är att upptäcka kärnan i de olika rörelserna för respektive moment. En genomtänkt elliptisk rörelse med klar tonföreställning underlättar instuderingen, skänker större säkerhet i spelet och ökar möjligheterna för den musikaliska gestaltningen. Övningarna kan vitalisera spelet, ge nya impulser och möjliggöra en rikare klangbehandling. Författaren vill väcka lusten, hos både lärare och elev, att utifrån övningarna skapa egna lekfulla små etyder. Förhoppningsvis kan denna lekfullhet smitta

Musik och rörelse – 74 tänkvärda övningar för pianospel

These books concentrate on developing the use of positions through extensive repertoire in addition to providing scale and interval exercises. som amatörer. Med dessa effektiva och originella övningar utvidgas verktygs-

av sig i arbetet med den ofantligt stora pianorepertoaren som står till förfogan-

Stefan Ydefeldt har en lång erfarenhet bakom sig som pianist, organist och pe-

dagog. Han har fortlöpande forskat om pianospelets rörelser som resulterade i den uppmärksammade boken Den enkla runda rörelsen – en studie i rörelsefi-

losofier vid pianospel, 2013 (tysk översättning 2018). Författaren har föreläst och genomfört workshops i såväl Sverige som utomlands.

74 tänkvärda övningar för pianospel

Lintujen tuonela (The Hades of the Birds) Piano reduction (for mezzo-soprano and piano) Text: P. Mustapää (Fin)


Om Den enkla runda rörelsen – en studie i rörelsefilosofier vid pianospel:

”…ett värdefullt tillskott till den svenskspråkiga litteraturen inom ämnet. Författaren skriver engagerat, kunnigt och detaljerat.” Ulrika Davidsson Kyrkomusikernas tidning

Stefan Ydefeldt

Stefan Ydefeldt

Ydefeldt Musica



FG 979-0-55011-700-6

FG 979-0-55011-699-3



FG 979-0-55011-687-0

(Fennica Gehrman’s web shop) Piano pieces: Selim Palmgren: Prélude - Illusion Etude Op. 1, Suite for piano Op. 3 Oskar Merikanto: Keijukaisten tanssi Ahti Sonninen: Suite from the ballet Pessi and Illusia Erkki Melartin: Alkusoitto (Overture), Menuetto, Tonttutanssi (Dance of the Gnomes), Valssi (Waltz) from the play The Sleeping Beauty, Tunnelmia (Stimmungen) Others: Joonas Kokkonen: Viimeiset kiusaukset (The Last Temptations), piano reduction of the opera Ida Moberg: Skogsrån for TTBB or SATB choir Sami Juntunen: Gettin’ into Groove (separate pieces for different ensembles)

FG 979-0-55011-493-7

Francisco J. Andreo Gázquez


Celan Pieces for violoncello and piano

Celan Pieces for cello and piano Winner of the O/Modernt Composition Award 2020 GE 14069

Beyond Farewell In memory of Julian Bream


Festouverture (1902) Transcription for concert band

FG 979-0-55011-580-4 (score & parts), 979-0-55011-581-1 (large score)


Time Around Autumn for 12 winds and percussion Tommie Haglund

for guitar

Beyond Farewell In memory of Julian Bream for guitar GE 13461


Lux solis Popular summer songs and psalms in arrangements for organ


FG 979-0-55011-482-1 (score & parts)



Pieces of my mind (Ajatuksia) - 10 jazzy tunes for piano Swinging pieces with imaginative details spicing up the melodies. Chord symbols are added for improvising solos. FG 979-0-55011-690-0

The Trees (Puusarja) Op. 75 Transcription for wind quintet by Anni Tolvanen FG 979-0-55011-698-6 (score & parts)


BIS-2395 (‘Kromos’)

Am Horizont Hiyoli Togawa

BIS-2533 (‘Songs of Solitude’) Mats Larsson Gothe


Lasimaalaus (Stained Glass) Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra “Sisyphus’ Dreams”



Pater noster





Three Fjord Sketches Kaari Ensemble/Saara Aittakumpu KaariCD-2020


Celebration Suite Anders Paulsson

Celebrating 20 Years of Democracy in South Africa

Obviously Foreign Infantry, ON, -NE, -NI Helsinki Chamber Choir/ Nils Schweckendiek Alba ABCD 457

Albert Schnelzer

Piano Concerto This Is Your Kingdom for chamber orchestra

Turbo aria, Himmel Punk, Junker Twist Finnish RSO/Hannu Lintu Ondine ODE 1326-2


Konzert für zwei Posaunen – Rudolphini Brothers Israel NK Orchestra, Christian Lindberg & Nils Landgren, conductors and trombones European Gramophone


Koralmetamorfoser Ensemble Transparent

Pilfink JJVCD-220 (‘Finnish music for flute,viola and harp’)


Chamber works Uuno Klami Ensemble Alba ABCD 460


Saudade, Millefleur, Horizons, Chiaroscuro Trilogy Lithuanian National SO, Lithuanian CO/ Giedrė Šlekytė, sol. Gabrielius Alekna, piano, Ondine ODE1386-2



Five Mythical Images for oboe solo

for orchestra

Solo XI & other guitar works of our own time Ismo Eskelinen


Onervan lauluja (Onerva’s Songs) for voice and piano Text: L. Onerva (Fin)

ER-OS for violin and clarinet A piece composed as a wedding gift for Osmo Vänskä and Erin Keefe.

A Fanfare for Herbert Blomstedt


FG 979-0-55011-695-5 (score & parts)

FG 979-0-55011-701-3


GE 13579 (score), GE 13581 (study score)

Suite from Ballets Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker The most famous segments transcribed for chamber orchestra.

Neljä laulua Aale Tynnin runoihin (Four songs to poems by Aale Tynni) for mezzo-soprano and piano (Fin)


Piano Concerto – This Is Your Kingdom version for chamber orchestra


Aviollinen sarja for bass and piano Text: Jouni Lompolo (Fin)

”Jag är imponerad över mängden exempel och djupet i analyserna av minsta lilla rörelse. /…/ Det finns en hel del guldkorn som jag inte har i min övningsbank och redan har noterat.” Stefan Bojsten Professor i piano, Kungliga Musikhögskolan, Stockholm

ISBN 978 - 91- 637 - 3352 - 9

GE 13870 (score), GE 13872 (study score)

Musik och rörelse

Om Musik och rörelse – 74 tänkvärda övningar för pianospel:

”Otaliga musikexempel, historiska utblickar och medicinska resoneman blandas friskt och gör boken till en oerhört imponerande läsning.” Dag Lundin Tonsättare,

FG 979-0-55011-697-9

FG 979-0-55011-702-0

Musik och rörelse (Music and Movement) 74 exercises for piano playing that helps you to overcome technical difficulties and avoid mechanical practising. Ydefelts second book about the anatomy of piano playing. de. I anslutning till övningarna finns 124 korta utdrag ur denna skatt.


Celebration Suite for orchestra

Joululauluja lapsille (Christmas Songs for Children) for SATB choir Arr. Jouko Linjama Text: Suomalainen, Haavio, Ahokainen, Paloheimo (Fin)

FG 979-0-55011-637-5

lådan för att lättare kunna övervinna tekniska svårigheter och undvika meka-

GE 13855 (score), GE 13857 (study score), 13895 (solo violin), 13896 (solo cello)

FG 979-0-55011-706-8

G2 supplement - Performing Pieces for Violin in the First Three Positions

BIS-2446 (‘Solo’) Daniel Börtz

Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra – “Sisyphus’ Dreams”

Lehvillä puiden for TTBB choir Text: Lassi Nummi (Fin)


Solo III, IV, V, IX, X, XII, XIV Sharon Bezaly, Samuli Peltonen, Bram van Sambeek, Hiyoli Togawa, Simon Reitmaier, Marie-Luise Neunecker


FG 979-0-55011-696-2

FG 979-0-55011-681-8

Musik och rörelse – 74 tänkvärda övningar för pianospel vänder sig till piano-

GE 13979 (score), GE 13981 (study score)

Sub rosa Song cycle to poems by Eeva-Liisa Manner (Fin) for voice and piano

Gettin’ into Groove - Repertoire and etudes for piano A revised, bilingual edition (English and Finnish). Arrangements of the separate pieces are available for different ensembles as downloadable and printable PDF editions.


Elegie for string orchestra This 5-minute treasure by Brander (1866-1934) is pure salon romanticism. FG 979-0-55011-688-7 (score & parts)

GE 13991



Hymyilevä Apollo (Smiling Apollo) for voice and piano Songs set to Eino Leino’s Poems (Fin)

FG ISMN 979-0-55011-691-7

Sven-David Sandström: Uppbrott (Decampment) Adolf Fredrik Church Chamber Choir and Orchestra/Christoffer Holgersson, sol. Hanna Husáhr, soprano, Olle Persson, baritone, Daphne 1070


Concertino for Piano and Orchestra Estonian National SO/ Mihhail Gerts, sol. Mihkel Poll, piano Dux 1702 (‘Works for Piano & Orchestra’)


Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano ’Gravity Groove’ Joonatan Rautiola, alto saxophone, Marko Hilpo, piano Ars Productions 38569

For further information contact us at:

GE 14039


String Quartet No. 4 A key work of Pohjola and a landmark in Finnish quartet literature.


FG 979-0-55011-677-1 (score & parts) HIGHLIGHTS


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: