NEWSLETTER FROM GEHRMANS MUSIKFÖRLAG & FENNICA GEHRMAN
Focus on Jacob Mühlrad Joonas Kokkonen centenary
Photo: Merlijn Doomernik
Photo: Louise Martinsson
NEWS High acclaim for Auvinen CD
ANTTI AUVINEN JUNKER TWIST | HIMMEL PUNK | TURBO ARIA
FINNISH RADIO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Lisa Larsson, Clara Schumann and Rolf Martinsson
Homage to Clara
Mats Larsson Gothe NORDIC
New performance dates During the past year a number of events have been postponed. We can now announce new dates for the following: Mats Larsson Gothe’s opera Löftet/The Promise (libretto: Susanne Marko), will receive its world premiere at the Royal Swedish Opera on 27 January 2022. Karin Rehnqvist’s Silent Earth for choir and orchestra (text: Kerstin Perski), will be premiered by the Netherlands Radio Choir and Philharmonic Orchestra on 29 January 2022, at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. Benjamin Staern’s Composer Weekend Festival at the Stockholm Concert Hall will be moved up to 7-10 April 2022, and the Stockholm premiere of his family opera The Snow Queen, at the Royal Opera, has been rescheduled to 9 December 2021.
NEWSLE T TER FROM GEHRMANS MUSIKFÖRLAG & FENNICA GEHRMAN
Editors: Henna Salmela and Kristina Fryklöf Translations: Susan Sinisalo and Robert Carroll Cover photos: Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin (Mühlrad), Maarit Kytöharju (RSO) Design: Tenhelp Oy Click the sound text.
and video symbols
Other material is available at www.gehrmans.se/highlights www.fennicagehrman.fi/highlights ISSN 2000-2750 (Online)
#swedishchoralmusic 2021 This year’s theme in the film series #swedishchoralmusic is: International choirs sing Swedish music. First in the series was the Canadian choir Luminous Voices under the direction of their artistic leader Timothy Schantz, performing Sven-David Sandström’s To See a World, wearing face masks. Throughout the year we will receive video greetings from choirs around the world. Follow #swedishchoralmusic on Facebook and YouTube. Sign up for our monthly newsletter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Jacob Mühlrad
Photo: Agnes Thor
Photo: Mats Bäcker
Rolf Martinsson and soprano Lisa Larsson can now present their new joint project, Hommage an Clara, that focuses on Clara Schumann’s music and life story. Larsson is responsible for the concept, and Martinsson for the orchestrations. Clara Schumann’s Lieder, which have not been heard in orchestration before, are in Hommage an Clara being presented in a new light, even with some discreet references to the two men of greatest inspiration to her: Robert (Schumann) and Johannes (Brahms). “Both Rolf and I have been fascinated by Clara Schumann’s music as well as her circumstances of life. A strong woman and a great musician”, says Lisa Larsson. The premiere is planned for September 2021 with Larsson as soloist together with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Juraj Valcuhas.
Antti Auvinen has been much in the limelight due to his new CD, which sold out even before its official release. His music is said to include many superlatives such as “the most energy or the most extreme effects”. The Ondine disc by the Finnish RSO and Hannu Lintu includes three works – Junker Twist, Himmel Punk and Turbo – and has met with great enthusiasm. Aria According to the critics, Auvinen’s finest talent is in the chillingly clear musical images that emerge from the pressurised fury. His timbral palette and its masterful handling are astounding. After the ‘punkier’ tones, we are transported to heavenly, strangely luminous and glowing spheres in which Auvinen convincingly demonstrates that he truly does have more strings to his bow than noise and tumult.
Timothy Schantz & Luminous Voices
Photo: Heikki Tuuli
Photo: Ville Hautakangas
Maija Hynninen, Roope Mäenpää and Sampo Kasurinen
New works in our catalogue Fennica Gehrman has signed up some new works by Maija Hynninen, Roope Mäenpää and Sampo Kasurinen. Hynninen’s oboe concerto Incandescence was premiered by the Finnish RSO on 10 February with conductor Anna-Maria Helsing and soloist Kyeong Ham. Mäenpää’s Jamais vu was heard for the first time at the same Musica Nova Helsinki concert. New works by Sampo Kasurinen are Overture for wind band and the Tango Sinfónico that won the composition competition of the Vantaa Pops Orchestra in 2018. Photo: Mats Bäcker
Photo: Mats Bäcker
Benjamin Staern’s Rainbow, written on commission from the Östgöta Symphonic Wind Ensemble, is scheduled to be premiered on 9 May with Christian Lindberg at the podium. The work consists of six movements, each representing one colour in the rainbow flag, which in turn represents a character: red-life, orange-healing, yellow-sun, green-nature, blue-harmony, and purple-the soul. The opening theme of the first movement recurs throughout the work but in variations. Each movement can also be performed as a separate piece. The work is dedicated to the LGBT movement.
Photo: JMaarit Kytöharju
Benjamin Staern’s Rainbow
Awards and nominations Marie Samuelsson’s double concerto Brandnäva/The Crane’s Beak, for guitar, violin and orchestra , has been nominated for the Swedish Music Publishers’ Award 2020. According to the jury “Samuelsson depicts both what is threatening and what is beautiful in nature, and with a chamber-musical effort she creates a work that is engaging and easy to take in.” Mats Larsson Gothe has been awarded the Royal Medal Litteris et Artibus. The medal was established in 1853 by Crown Prince Charles (XV) of Sweden and is given for outstanding artistic achievement mainly in music, theatrical production and literature.
Géza Szilvay, ESTA & Colourstrings Géza Szilvay, founder of the renowned Colourstrings method, has been chosen as the President of ESTA, following such predecessors as Max Rostal, Yehudi Menuhin and Bruno Giuranna. Szilvay has made a long career in Finland teaching at the East Helsinki Music Institute and the Sibelius Academy. With his brother Csaba he developed the Colourstrings teaching program that has spread around the world. A new addition to this method is the Guitar ABC (See: New publications).
Veli-Matti Puumala, Mikko Heiniö, Olli Kortekangas and Antti Auvinen
Commissions and premieres The Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra has commissioned a work from Veli-Matti Puumala for 2022, when the orchestra celebrates its 50th anniversary. Puumala has yet another forthcoming premiere: his Violin Concerto, a Finnish RSO commission; this was scheduled for performance in December, but due to Covid-19 had to be postponed. Mikko Heiniö has been asked to write a Concerto for Kantele, Violin and String Orchestra for Eija Kankaanranta (kantele) and Antti Tikkanen (violin). Heiniö has plans for two versions, the larger one planned for a performance in 2022 at the Katedraali soi Festival in Turku by the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra. It will also include a part for baritone Ville Rusanen. Olli Kortekangas has received a commission from the Helsinki Philharmonic for a piece for soprano and orchestra. Tuuli Takala will be the soloist in the world premiere scheduled for 2022. The Finnish RSO and Dalia Stasevska will premiere Antti Auvinen’s guitar concerto Andalusian Panzerwagen Jazz on 28. April. The soloist is Petri Kumela. HIGHLIGHTS
Photo: Amit Israeli
– spirituality through the prism of music
Common to all of Jacob Mühlrad’s choral music is that it evokes a sense of the eternal. He deals with the themes of mortality, of the human condition, of tradition, of the holy, but all of these are viewed, so to speak, through the prism of music: the listener is left with the feeling that beauty has made sense out of what often seems incomprehensible or arbitrary. Now his most important choral works are released by Deutsche Grammophon on the portrait album ‘Time’.
o me, music is the ultimate way of expressing spirituality. Music is one of the very common grounds for humanity in itself. It’s a very primitive thing to express yourself with some type of sound,” says Jacob Mühlrad. Much before turning to music however, these big questions already nagged in his mind; as a young boy he was greatly devoted to his Jewish faith to the point of almost becoming a Rabbi at 13. “The core of my music is very much about trying to communicate the sense of spirituality I had from when I was a believer. Today I’m a non-believer, but I am in search of that state of being, of that feeling of God’s presence, that I now experience through music,” he says. The introductory track of the album, Anim zemirot , is one of Mühlrad’s earlier pieces. Commissioned by the Sofia Vocal Ensemble, it was inspired by this transition from believer to composer. The text is from the Jewish liturgy, a synagogue hymn from the 13th century that speaks of King David’s love for God and traditionally sung at the end of the Sabbath by the youngest member of the congregation. Mühlrad’s music conveys both the comforting quality of the text and also its yearning – the glissandi in the upper voices at the very beginning already hint at this – but it is a yearning that in the composer’s hands frequently spills over into ecstasy, the voices cascading over each other like sonic waterfalls. “King David’s love for God was so strong, and I could really relate to that energy and feel that love to music itself. This was the first choir piece I wrote, and it’s perhaps a little bit immature but it’s so personal and important in that sense,” says Jacob.
The final track, Kaddish , engages directly with Judaism and the subject of the Holocaust through the personal lenses of Jacob Mühlrad’s own family. The composer’s grandfather was a survivor, and the work is conceived as a dialogue between him and Jacob. It employs texts by Eli Wiesel and Michael Bliman (the composer’s grandfather), and fragments of the Kaddish, the prayer for the dead, but there are also wordless sections, when Mühlrad feels that music can say more than text. Indeed, the work springs from the subterranean depths, before words can be uttered, though it moves slowly towards affirmation, in the form of bearing of witness so that such a thing may never happen again, and the full expressive range and dramatic potential of the choir is called upon to achieve this. “I’m asking my grandfather the questions I never had the chance to ask myself. In that sense it’s also a type of a way of processing this trauma,” reflects Jacob. Despite Mühlrad’s personal drift away from religion towards a more ample conception of spirituality, his music continues to retain elements of the rituality he was first introduced to in religious prayer. “I was very struck by how repetition in the religious or musical context helps to get in a certain state of being,” he says. With Nigun , a composition for double choir, the composer’s stated aim was to create “an abstraction of a Jewish service,” but there is also a connection to the mysticism of the Kabbalah in the use of wordless melody (nigun in fact means melody). The effect is something like hearing the liturgy in a dream, with fragments of words drifting towards the listener on vast clouds of sound, but there is an unexpected moment of clarity with the tenor solo around halfway through, leading to awestruck repetitions of the word “kadosh” – holy. Nigun also makes clear Mühlrad’s prowess at manipulating sounds structurally, beyond the actual meaning of the words and texts he composes spirit into the architecture of the music, and at times the organic overlaid voices almost sound like electronic systems.
The title work, Time , a joint commission between the Swedish Radio Choir, San Francisco Chorus, the WDR Radio Choir and Tapiola Chamber Choir, deals with the subject of communication, by means of the story of the Tower of Babel, of which the composer says that “it is a powerful metaphor, not least in our present time, when discussions transcending national borders are so vital.” For the piece, Mühlrad worked incessantly trying to connect a multitude of languages into a single word – time. After translating it into 104 different languages, the composer tasked himself with organizing the sounds, not only by their linguistic roots but also their unique timber, “The process gave me a palette of sounds, I felt like a painter who spent three months mixing different types of colours until I had twenty-seven that I could start to paint with,” says Jacob.“I had this very clear structure and I got such an energy from these language restrictions. They created a cage I wanted to break free from.” The choir again employs a vast range of techniques, often of considerable difficulty, but what remains is the sense of stillness, as time rolls inexorably on. Mühlrad’s plight with ‘Time’ seems familiar if we consider the project of Babel itself and mankind’s eternal attempts to transcend human limitations. Far from an easy-listening experience, this album requires the listener the same kind of diligence and focus that is required in religious rituals. In many ways, it also provides a similar kind of reward. An ineffable enlightenment and feeling of all-encompassing, infinite beauty. “That way of viewing music is very close to how religious people view God. “It’s in the small details and everywhere, but you have to work to see it,” ends Jacob Mühlrad. Ivan Moody Footnote: The album ‘Time’ will be released by Deutsche Grammophon on 26 March, featuring the Swedish Radio Choir and conductors Fredrik Malmberg and Ragnar Bohlin.
Joonas Kokkonen centenary Photo: Music Finland
In the music of Joonas Kokkonen (1921-1996) joy and seriousness, tragedy and reconciliation are never far from each other, and even the most introvert and dark passages are infused with his warm and life-embracing humour and humanistic attitude to life.
oonas Kokkonen’s first “mature” masterpiece was the Music for String Orchestra (1957), which at the same time as it offers a synopsis and a culmination of his neo-classical period also contains the seeds of his later artistic advancement. This is a work in which Kokkonen reveals an obvious talent for writing for string instruments. He here writes the first of the Bártok-inspired adagio religiosos, slow movements with an almost sacred character, that were subsequently to become one of his foremost trademarks. The fast movements, in their turn, are examples of those lively, and often playful, rhythmical allegros that form a fertile contrasting basis for the slow movements.
Early key works and symphonies Another early key work is the song cycle Lintujen tuonela (The Hades of the Birds, 1958-59) for mezzo-soprano and orchestra. The exemplary transparent and exquisitely coloured orchestral setting scintillates in all the colours of the rainbow while at the same time making the solo voice brilliantly audible. It is also a good example of Kokkonen’s intuitive ability to write for the human voice and to give the words and poetic wholes a meaningful musical outfit. These skills were to find their ultimate expression in the opera Viimeiset kiusaukset (The Last Temptations) written 17 years later.
The third key work is the Third Symphony (1967), which is usually regarded as the starting point of Kokkonen’s free tonal period. It highlights his symphonic thinking and orchestral mastery in an unprecedented splendour. Kokkonen was primarily a man of the orchestra and, above all, a symphonist. His way of developing ideas and organising his material is highly symphonic, and his intuitive sense of counterpoint provides the most stable ground imaginable for symphonic seeds to grow on. In the Third Symphony, Kokkonen unleashes his entire musical and sonorous fantasy without compromising the rigorousness of his symphonic principles. Yet where, in his first symphonies, Kokkonen had worked with watercolours and graphics, the Third is a rich fresco in oil. In the Fourth Symphony (1971), Kokkonen reaches a mastery equal to that of Sibelius in his two last symphonies. The melodic and harmonious material is more clearly formulated, concentrated and accessible than ever before, coupled with an emotional message that is more immediate than in Kokkonen’s earlier orchestral production.
strongest Finnish opera besides Aarre Merikanto’s Juha, and it is very hard indeed not to agree on that. Other important compositions are the three-movement Opus sonorum (1965) and Symphonic Sketches (1968). These, too, are significant symphonic works. It might also be worth to consider appealing works such as the charming Wind Quintet (1973), the nature-inspired tone poem Inauguratio (1971) or the cantata Erekhtheion (1969) written for Turku University – without doubt one of the best pieces of ceremonial music written in our country. Beyond these works we might dwell a little on the intricately structured Sinfonia da camera for twelve strings (1962); or to examine imposing vocal works such as the touching Laudatio Domini for mixed a cappella choir (1966). We might highlight the atmospheric organ piece Lux aeterna (1974), the Cello Concerto (1969) full of gusto, the exquisite Sonata for Cello and Piano (1976), or the charming Five Bagatelles for piano (1969). Considerable space could also be devoted to the three string quartets which as a whole form the most significant contribution to the genre in Finland since Sibelius, or to what is perhaps Kokkonen’s most amiable and immediately com(1981), which municative work, the Requiem is infused with a deep religious reliance. Last but not least, there is his last important work, Il paesaggio for chamber orchestra (1987), a late and lyrically tinged descendant of Sibelius’ Tapiola. In Kokkonen’s refusal to produce anything half-made or half-hearted he appears as something of a kindred spirit to his French colleague Henri Dutilleux. Beyond all this, there is no doubt that it is communication with the listener that has always formed the central focus for Kokkonen. In his music, joy and seriousness, tragedy and reconciliation are never far from each other, and even the most introvert and dark passages are infused with his warm and life-embracing humour and humanistic attitude to life. As we know, there is always light after darkness, and within Joonas Kokkonen’s work this is perhaps the innermost essence of his artistic message. Mats Liljeroos
Communication with the listener The opera The Last Temptations was to mark Joonas Kokkonen’s international breakthrough as a composer. According to many critics it is the
This is a shortened article previously published in the Finnish Music Quarterly.
REPER TOIR E TIPS KALEVI AHO
MATS LARSSON GOTHE
String Quartet No. 1 (1967)
In modo lidico (Ein Heiliger Dankgesang) (2017) Dur: 4’
String Quartet No. 4 (2006)
A refle tion over the slow third movement in Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15. Larsson Gothe describes how deeply he was moved when he heard this for the first time, a feeling that Beethoven had in some way tied together past and present in his lyrical tone language, based on the Lydian church mode. This is something that repeats itself in Larsson Gothe’s piece, which despite the small format contains the formal framework – introduction, exposition, development and coda. Composed for the project Beethoven #without fil er and Uppsala Chamber Soloists.
Pohjola’s first four string quartets have been recorded and the reviews have not been stinting with their praise. According to the late Jouni Kaipainen, the fourth is one of the greatest works by Pohjola and a landmark in Finnish quartet literature. It has two large sections separated by a general pause. Pohjola here varies canonic themes with considerable invention and imagination. The second part evolves and proceeds at times with a lively onward drive. But listen especially to the magical ending: what a delicate, impressive texture!
Aho’s first string quartet provides a fascinating insight into the musical world of an 18-year-old. When he showed it to his teacher, Einojuhani Rautavaara, he was told that there was no longer any need to study tonal harmony and formal constructions because he would pass the exams straight away. The quartet begins in variation form. The lyrical second movement has a light, virtuosic middle section that proceeds to the third, quick movement and on to a chorale-like final .
TOBIAS BROSTRÖM String Quartet No. 1 (2013) Dur: 24’
Broström’s first string quartet starts out with a lovely, softly billowing first movement. It passes over into an energetic and dancing ‘Allegro’, followed by the 3rd movement’s magical, shimmering ‘Calmo’, and the rhythmically violent 4th movement’s pizzicatos. With its whirling sextuplets the fi th movement reconnects with the firs , and the opening bitter-sweet violin theme returns. Composed for Brooklyn Rider.
Three Elegies and Epilogue (1947/86) Dur: 20’
The Silver Quartet (1988)
In 1940, the 19-year old Lidholm composed an ‘Elegiac Suite’ in three movements for string quartet, where one can find traces of inspiration from both Sibelius and Stenhammar. More than 40 years later he wrote a short epilogue, “a Hilding Rosenberg con reverenza,” to celebrate his friend and teacher’s 90th birthday. When Lidholm in 1986 appended this ‘Epilogue’ to the ‘Three Elegies’ he had a reason: he “wanted to see if the youthful tones had any relevance to the composer who wrote the Epilogue.”
Letters (2018) Dur: 15’
Written as a commentary on Janacek’s second string quartet ”Intimate Letters”, Damström’s music is inspired by the lines that Janacek wrote to his beloved Kamila. In her music, Damström tries to depict the feelings and words that form the content of his correspondence: heaven, hope, fear, fi e and much more. The work is dedicated to the Brodsky Quartet and was written on commission from the Netherlands Stift Festival.
String Quartet No. 2 ”Allerheiligentag III” (2018) Dur: 20’
String Quartet No. 1 (1953)
Allerheiligentag III is based on a Finnish folk chorale for All Saints’ Day. Linjama became so attached to the harsh, beautiful melody that it has generated a whole cycle of works. This string quartet is in three movements tensed in diffe ent ways by contrasts. The first has both swinging softness and cutting sharpness, the Scherzo the wildness of a dance of death and lyricism, and the finale the irrevocability of a funeral march and tender melodiousness.
The new Urtext edition sheds new light on this quartet from Rautavaara’s Neo-Classical early period, with his corrections and comments. Stravinsky and Finnish folk music are present in the rhythmical first movement; entering later is a characteristic scale of alternating half and whole tones. After the Slavic romanticism of the slow movement (Andante), the fiddler eturns in a cheerful Gigue.
KIMMO HAKOLA String Quartet No. 4 (2016) Dur: 13’
Hakola’s short but wildly intense quartet got an enthusiastic reception at its premiere and was said to have the makings of a small-scale cult work. Its “heavy riff ”, players stamping on the floor and other such things provide plenty of surprises. In the composer’s own words, it has the playful, defia tly dramatic, surprising, capricious and unrestrained tour de force of a youthful entity, and it continues his line of exciting quartets; his first on the Unesco Composers’ Rostrum in 1987.
String Quartet No. 3 “Gestures of Winter” (2017) Dur: 20’
HALVOR HAUG String Quartet No. 1 (1985) Dur: 22’ A theme consisting of fi e tones, BbA-Ab-B-G, dramatically opens Haug’s first string quartet. The tone material recurs later in various ways through its six contrasting but connected sections, and the whole string quartet is concluded with the theme in its original form. Composed for the Norwegian String Quartet.
The four string quartets by Kai Nieminen were inspired by the experience of a starry Arctic night, unsullied by street lamps or other light pollution. The world of sound in each of the four captures the wintry atmosphere and light of Maritime Lapland. Gestures of Winter bears the epithet “Time Around Northern Night Skies…’’. The most recent, 4th quartet was premiered at a streamed concert given by the Sea Lapland String Quartet on 16 February.
PEHR HENRIK NORDGREN String Quartet No. 11 (2008) Dur: 21‘
Nordgren’s quartet is introspective and devout in tone. Its distinctive soundscape is the result of the abnormal tuning, which returns to normal in the lively Rondo and is “as if a light were shining from a very confined space”. The Lamentoso interlude is an excruciatingly beautiful meditation on a chorale theme, and the short closing Pietoso epilogue is like a flash of another reality.
Five short movements written in a positive and harmonic spirit. Even if there is a certain melancholy that pervades the tone language itself, the overall impression is still bright with the two lively outer movements, and the third movement’s energetic Scherzo played entirely pizzicato. As if to underline the work’s character, the last movement has been given the marking Allegro con felicita (happy allegro).
ALBERT SCHNELZER String Quartet No 2 – Emperor Akbar (2009) Dur:12’ Inspired by a novel by Salman Rushdie, the character Emperor Akbar’s complex personality is refle ted in Schnelzer’s music. The string quartet starts out literally with the emperor decapitating a young rebel. After that, rhythmical and violent passages alternate with achingly beautiful, contemplative scenes. A commission from the Nordland Music Festival for the Brodsky Quartet.
MATTHEW WHITTALL Bright Ferment (String Quartet No. 2) (2019) Dur: 9’ Strange Geography (String Quartet No. 3) (2019) Dur: 10’30” Quartet No. 2 was commissioned for the Banff International String Quartet Competition. It opens with delightful energy and proceeds towards a more lyrical section featuring some exquisite moments. The compact, introvert third quartet shares the same strands of musical DNA – polyrhythmic beats plus the repetition and refle tive beauty typical of Whittall’s music.
In Damström’s idiom there is explosive power…the energetic and dramatic character of this work makes it a listener-friendly experience and leaves a mark… The music is dynamic and colourful with strong contrasts. The handling of the orchestra is impressive and reminds that the symphony orchestra can be a fantastic ”instrument” in skilful hands. Karjalainen 27.2.
Hans Eklund: Symphonies Nos. 3, 5 & 11 CD: Norrköping SO/Hermann Bäumer (CPO 5550872)
Cecilia Damström: Nixus World premiere: Joensuu CO/Eero Lehtimäki, 26.02.2021 Joensuu Winter Festival, Finland
Pettersson’s remarkable 12th
The Twelfth has many points in common with other Pettersson symphonies: music of extreme intensity cast into a single, enormous movement… Differences are quite apparent, too: the urgent, fast-moving opening for violins, and the triumphant, roof-raising close (instead of fading quietly, all energy spent). And then there is the choir, that dominates proceedings for much of the work, driven on by Neruda’s searingly powerful poems… Lindberg’s is now the third Twelfth to appear, the best-recorded of them and, I think, the best-sung, magnifi ently supported by the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra… A fabulous account of a remarkable work. Gramophone January 2021 Allan Pettersson: Symphony No. 12 CD: Norrköping SO, Swedish Radio Choir, Eric Ericson Chamber Choir/ Christian Lindberg (BIS-2450)
Beautiful, glittering Omaggio a Smilla
A work for string orchestra, violin and trumpet that is interesting, sounds great and even has some surprises. Voices flash in and out, as do the shadows… The prophetic yet soft trumpet tone brings the hazy outlines into focus. Koskinen has composed some fin , spectral, glittering webs of sound that open out like a fan. Keskipohjanmaa 1.2. Juha T. Koskinen: Omaggio a Smilla Ostrobothnian CO/Tomas Djupsjöbacka, sol. Annemarie Åström, violin, Jukka-Pekka Peltoniemi, trumpet, 29.1.2021 Kaustinen Chamber Music Festival, Finland
Photo: Lars Johnson
The three symphonies on this CD are dramatically charged, expressive and the writing for orchestra is virtuosic… I often come to think of Shostakovich here; not that Eklund imitates his Russian colleague, but his sound world corresponds to a certain extent with the latter’s harsh woodwinds and heavy brass… The Norrköping Symphony Orchestra is brilliant, as usual, in the fine sound recording… This CD from CPO whets the appetite, and there is good reason to ask ourselves why we don’t get to hear more of Hans Eklund in the concert halls. Capriccio 09.12. Alex Freeman
Linkola’s Bass Concerto scores success in Spain
A jazzy feel permeates the first movement… In the finale Linkola puts the soloist’s technical ability to the test. Vuolanne takes his double bass to that heaven of string instruments that usually is reserved for the violin… The work poses considerable technical challenges, which the soloist masters for the ultimate purpose for the profession: making music and moving whoever hears it. El Pais 13.2. Jukka Linkola: Bass Concerto European premiere: Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia/Dima Slobodeniouk, sol. Risto Vuolanne, 12.2.2021 Coruña, Spain
A thrilling concerto by Aho
This disc is an absolute must for all those who love the music of one of our greatest living composers; and it should prove attractive, too, for those who welcome the excitement of two approachable and comprehensible pieces of modern music. MusicWeb International Oct. 2020 The percussionist must navigate the variety of instruments, moving from one technique to another as the piece progresses while the orchestra sounds supply backdrop. The result is thrilling. …The piece has become a standard repertoire item because of its astonishing demands on percussion players. American Record Guide Jan-Feb 2021
Freeman’s impressive Requiem
Anyone loving contemporary a cappella choral music will appreciate the Requiem ‘Under the Arching Heavens’ by the Finnish-American composer Alexander Freeman. The Helsinki Chamber Choir has recorded the impressive work for BIS. The largely tonal Requiem is built around the Latin liturgy of the Mass for the Dead in a highly individual tonal language with solo interludes in the choral singing…The performances are of the highest quality. Pizzicato.lu January 2021 The choral Requiem is a work of subtle introspection, universal mourning and a brilliant feel for rich hues… Freeman joins here company with Rautavaara... Helsingin Sanomat 13.1. Alex Freeman: Requiem “Under the Arching Heavens”, A Wilderness of Sea CD: Helsinki Chamber Choir/Nils Schweckendiek (BIS-2592)
Maija Hynninen’s oboe concerto Incandescence got its first hearing. The soloist, Kyeong Ham, co-principal oboe in the Finnish RSO, traced expressive graphic lines on Hynninen’s sophisticated and sensitive play of timbres. Helsingin Sanomat 12.2. Maija Hynninen: Oboe concerto ‘Incandescence’
World premiere: Finnish RSO/Anna-Maria Helsing, sol. Kyeong Ham, 10.2.2021 Helsinki, Finland (Muisca nova Festival) Finnish RSO
Photo: Maarit Kytöharju
Eklund’s dramatically charged symphonies
Photo: Saara Vuorjoki/Music Finland
Photo: Marte Veian
Kalevi Aho: Sieidi (Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra), Symphony No. 5 CD: Lahti SO/Dima Slobodeniouk, sol. Colin Currie (BIS SACD-2336) HIGHLIGHTS
N E W P U B L I C AT I O N S CHORAL & VOCAL
JÄÄSKELÄINEN, KANTALA, SARMANTO-NEUVONEN
Sateen aikaan (Rain Time) Five songs for mezzo-soprano and string quartet Text: Tuomas Anhava (Fin)
Anna soida! Pianokoulu aikuisille / Spela på! Pianoskola for vuxna A revised version of the popular piano school for adults with an inspiring selection of repertoire. In Finnish and Swedish.
FG 979-0-55011-675-7 (score & parts)
Kosmisk moder for mixed choir SATB div. and cello Text: Erik Lindegren (Sw)
SATB div. and cello
SATB div a cappella
The Guitar ABC – Book A A new guide for young beginners based on the Colourstings method. Also included are some hints for teachers.
Krigslied for mixed choir SSAATTBB Text: Mathias Claudius (Ger)
Night SSAAT, violoncello
Hårt åskväder/Heavy Thunder for choir SATB div. cello and piano Text: Harry Martinson (No. 3 from the suite Time is Calling to You)
Le Chant 1
canon à douze voix
ORCHESTRA & ENSEMBLE
Det mörknar över landet Dark Falls Across the Country for soprano and four instruments
Det mörknar över landet/ Dark Falls Across the Country Text. Trad (Saami) for soprano, flu e, oboe and 2 celli GE 14029 (score), GE 14030 (parts)
Orphan Elephant solo for soprano saxophone
Idyll och epigram SATB div
Wilhelm Stenhammar Carl Unander-Scharin
Arrangements for salon orchestra (PDF Publications)
Merikanto: Valse lente FG 979-0-55016-554-0 Valgre: Saarenmaan valssi 55016-557-1 Rahmaninov: Vocalise 55016-556-4 Hannikainen: Karjalaisten laulu 55016-553-3 Gershwin: Summertime 55016-552-6 Gardel: Volver 55016-555-7 Abreu: Tico-tico no fubá 55016-558-8
FG 979-0-55011-5538 (score & parts)
GE 14020 (score), GE 14021 (parts)
Clarinet Sextet for clarinet ensemble
The Five Chords That Shook My World for piano FG 979-0-55011-676-4
for Mixed Choir and Piano
TRE DIKTER UR
FG 979-0- 550116801
PANU PÄRSSINEN (ARR)
Text O. Levertin/Brian & Inger John (Sw/Eng) Now with text in English! GE 13660
Sonata in B fl t minor for viola and piano Edited by Eero Kesti
String Quartet No. 2 (Allerheiligentag III)
Lament for violoncello (or viola/ violin) & string orchestra FG 979-0-55011-679-5 (score, solo & orchestral parts)
Tre dikter ur Idyll och epigram for mixed choir SATB div. Text:Johan Ludvig Runeberg (Sw)
Frammenti for violin, clarinet and piano
WILHELM STENHAMMAR/ CARL UNANDER-SCHARIN
(or instrument within range)
Frammenti for violin, clarinet and piano
GE 13947, GE 13948
Sonata for violoncello and piano
Orphan Elephant for soprano saxophone solo (or instrument within range) (No. 1 of Anders Paulsson’s project ‘Solitary poems’)
Le Chant I & II Canon for twelve voices Text: Eugène Guillevic (Fr)
Song When I am dead, my dearest
Song When I am dead, my dearest for mixed choir SATB Text: Christina Rosetti (Eng)
Natt/Night for choir SSAAT and cello Text: Harry Martinsson (No. 2 from the suite Time is Calling to You)
Mysterium Quintet for piano left hand and string quartet
FG 979-0-55011-685-6 (score & parts)
SATB a cappella
Mot natten / Towards Night Three nocturnes and two interludes for cello and guitar
Maamerkit Suite for descant choir SSAA Text: Anna Elina Isoaro (Fin)
Am Horizont for viola solo (with voice)
CHAMBER & INSTRUMENTAL
TOIVEOHJELMISTOA PIANOLLE 2 (FAVOURITES FOR PIANO 2) This eagerly-awaited album presents piano favourites in a handy, handsome collection. Along with pieces by composers such as Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Schubert and Chopin, there are some by Clara Schumann, Lili Boulanger and Amy Beach.
Musik i natten/Night Chant for seven instruments: alto flu e, bass clarinet, vibraphone, piano, violin, viola and cello
Musik i natten Night Chant
for seven instruments
Dick and Toff in Wonderland for flu e and tuba FG 979-0-55011-682-5
MARJUKKA ESKELINEN, SAARA-MAIJA STRANDMAN
Lasten Lied 2 / Children’s Lied 2 Repertoire from a wide range of countries and cultures including songs in eight languages, all of them with sung English translations. Downloadable versions available in various keys. FG 979-0-55011-659-7
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