Album at a Glance
- William Wallace: Symphonic Poems / Martyn Brabbins, BBC Scottish SO
- Leevi Madetoja: Symphonies 1 & 3; Okon Fuoko Suite / Helsinki PO, Storgårds
- Fritz Brun: Symphony 1; Overture to a Jubilee Celebration / Moscow SO, Adriano
- Adolphe Samuel: Symphony No. 6; Joseph Jongen: Three Symphonic Movements / Brabbins
Nostalgia: Lyrical Finnish Music for Strings / Juha Kangas
Nostalgia - Lyrical Finnish Music for Strings is an exceptionally beautiful new release from Alba Records performed by the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra under Juha Kangas. Offering compositions by a mix of familiar names along with some that are little known, the music comes from about a dozen different composers. They are all representatives of the Finnish romantic era of the 19th and 20th-centuries, the better known being Sibelius, Merikanto and Klami.
The works' titles themselves help to give a sense of the music. A short list of select pieces includes Elegy by Leevi Madetoja, Romance by Väinö Raitio, Lullaby by Uuno Klami, I Cannot Forget You by Väinö Haapalainen and The Pauper Girl's Lullaby by Robert Kajanus. Lullabies, Elegies and Romances these gentle works are touching, expressive vignettes. The last work mentioned includes some charming solo violin passages performed by Reijo Tunkkari, and is the recorded sample we have provided for you to hear. It rather fairly represents the spectrum of music here - tonal, lyrical and melodic.
If you are reading this review on the ExpeditionAudio website and can therefore listen to the sample, there's really not too much more that needs to be said. If for some reason you cannot get to EA, then I'll have to ask you to trust me - this is lovely music, beautifully performed, and you will enjoy it.
The Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra performs lyrical Finnish music for strings.
Kajanus, Robert (1856-1933):
1 Berceuse (1896) “The Pauper Girl’s Lullaby” 3:50
Sibelius, Jean (1865-1957):
2 Impromptu Op. 5/5-6 (1894) 5:47
3 Romanze C Op. 42 (1904) 4:17
Järnefelt, Armas (1869-1958):
4 Aamulla varhain (Early One Morning) (1900) “The Forsaken” 4:28
Sibelius, Jean (1865-1957):
5 Presto Op. 4/3 (1894) 5:57
Melartin, Erkki (1875-1937):
6 Canzone 4:00
Merikanto, Aarre (1893-1958):
7 Canzona (1934) 3:10
Raitio, Väinö (1891-1945):
8 Romance (1940) 5:25
9 Serenata (1940) 3:04
Klami, Uuno (1900-1961):
10 Kehtolaulu (Lullaby) (1930) 3:51
11 Sonatine (1934) 3:17
Kaski, Heino (1885-1957):
12 Sanaton laulu (Song Without Words) 2:24
Madetoja, Leevi (1887-1947):
13 Elegy Op. 4/1 (1909) 4:25
Kuula, Toivo (1883-1918):
14 Chanson sans paroles Song Without Words Op. 22/1 (1910) 2:50
15 (arr.) Ostrobothnian Folk Song Op. 9/2 (1909) 2:53
Haapalainen, Väinö (1893-1945):
16 (arr.) En voi sua unhoittaa poies (I Cannot Forget You) (1929) 2:41
Total Time: 62:36
Source: Alba Records
Conductor: Juha Kangas
The Finnish conductor, Juha Kangas, was born in the Ostrobothnian region of Kaustinen, the centre of a strong tradition of Finnish itinerant musicians. At the age of thirteen, this son of a local organist decided he would learn the violin. From then on, not a day went by when he could not be found playing it.
Orchestra: Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra
Juha Kangas and the OCO (Keski-Pohjanmaan Kamariokesteri) received the Creation prize of the Finnish Copyright Agency (Teosto) in 1995 for their professional creative work that has significantly promoted Finnish music. In 1998 they received the Madetoja Award of the Finnish Composers’ Society.
Violin: Reijo Tunkkari
Reijo Tunkkari Kokkola is a violinist who is concertmaster of the Central Ostrobothnia Chamber Orchestra as a violinist, and member of the Kokkola quartet . He also teaches violin at Central Ostrobothnia Conservatory of Music and Kaustisen music in high school.
Composer: Robert Kajanus
Robert Kajanus was the most prominent Finnish composer before Jean Sibelius. His music drew on the folk legends of the Finnish people. He studied music theory with Richard Faltin and violin with Gustaf Niemann in Helsinki, with Hans Richter, Carl Reinecke and Salomon Jadassohn in Leipzig, and Johan Svendsen in Paris.
Composer: Jean Sibelius
Jean Sibelius (1865 – 1957) was a Finnish composer of the late Romantic period. His music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national identity. The core of Sibelius’s oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies.
Composer: Oskar Merikanto
Oskar Merikanto (August 5, 1868 – February 17, 1924) was a Finnish musician and composer. He was born to Swedish parents in Helsinki. His father, originally Frank Mattsson, changed the family name to sound more Finnish.
Composer: Uuno Klami
Uuno Klami (20 September 1900 – 29 May 1961) was a Finnish composer.Klami studied music in Helsinki with Erkki Melartin and later in Paris and Vienna. He was also influenced by French music, in particularly by Maurice Ravel and the group Les Six.
Composer: Leevi Madetoja
Like Toivo Kuula, Leevi Madetoja hailed from Ostrobothnia. He was born in 1887 in Oulu, where he completed his early studies in 1906. He continued his education at Helsinki University and as a pupil of Sibelius at the Helsinki Music Institute.
Composer: Väinö Eerikki Raitio
Väinö Eerikki Raitio (1891 – 1945) was part of the small group of composers who appeared in the Finnish art music scene in the 1920s with a new cosmopolitan music style, very different from the dominant conservative National Romanticism. Raitio’s career as a composer reached its peak in the 1920s when eight large symphonic poems appeared from his pen.
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