Baltic Music

March 23, 2017, 7:00 pm

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Who knows what it is that makes the music of the Baltic region so recognizable and compelling? Many of us know and love the work of Sibelius, Finland’s greatest musical export, but the countries around the Gulf of Finland have given us a wealth composers, some better known than others. In this week of shows we will explore music from a land of lakes & islands, isolated, self-contained, and full of beauty. Composers like Erkki Melartin, Leevi Madetoja, Jonas Kokkonen, Heino Eller, and Arvo Pärt, working in the long shadow of Sibelius, created violin concertos, symphonies, tone poems, choral works, and chamber works. So what is it that fascinates us about this distant northern region? Perhaps we will sum it up best with a fantastic piece by Uuno Klami’s called “Aurora Borealis.”


Episode 1

Vanio Haapalainen: Fidler’s Portrait
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Okko Kamu

Armas Järnefelt: Berceusefor Small Orchestra
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen
Sony 46668

Armas Järnefelt: Preludium
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Ulf Soederblom

Erkki Melartin: Mirjamin Laulu 1
Karita Mattila, soprano; Ilmo Ranta, piano Ondine 1054

Oskar Merikanto: Pan (Symphonic Poem)
RSO Segerstam/Saraste
Finlandia 349

Erkki Melartin: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 60:
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante assai tranquillo
John Storgards, violin; Tampere Philharmonic/Leif Segerstam Ondine 923-2
11:35, 8:29

Erkki Melartin: Lyric Suite No.3, “Impressions de Belgique,”
V. Les Cloches
Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra/Leif Segerstam
Ondine 923-2

Olli Mustonen: Petite Suite: Pastorale
Tapiola Sinfonietta/Mustonen
Ondine 974-2

Episode 2
Erkki Melartin: Symphony No. 5 in A Minor, Op. 90, “Sinfonia Brevis”:
III. Intermezzo: Allegro Moderato Tampere
Philharmonic Orchestra/Leonid Grin

Einar Englund: Symphony No. 4 for Strings and Percussion:
II. Tempus fugit
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Leif Segerstam

Einar Englund: The White Reindeer, Suite for Orchestra:
III. Reindeer Race
IV. Funeral March
V. Finale
Lahti Symphony/Osmo Vanska

Einar Englund: The Great Wall of China Suite: VII. Jazz-intermezzo Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra/Eri Klas

Joonas Kokkonen: Il Paesaggio
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vanska 9:21
Uuno Klami: Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), Op. 38
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgards

Episode 3
Leevi Madetoja: Symphony #1 In F, Op. 29,
III. Finale: Allegro Vivace
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgårds
Ondine 1211-2

Leevi Madetoja: Symphony #3 In A, Op. 55, IV. Pesante, Tempo Moderato, Allegretto
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra /John Storgårds
Ondine 1211-2

Einojuhani Rautavaara: Suite For Strings,
I. Presto
II. Andante
III. Vivace Assai (Alla Giga)
Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra/Juha Kangas Ondine 991-2
3:04, 6:44, 2:54

Esa-Pekka Salonen: Violin Concerto,
II. Pulse 1
III. Pulse 2
Leila Josefowicz, violin; Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen
DG B0017521-02 3:31, 5:22

Magnus Gustaf Adolf Lindberg: Parada, for orchestra
Philharmonia Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen
Sony 89810

Leevi Madetoja: Okon Fuoko, The Dream Sorcerer Suite, Op. 58, 3. Dance Of The Puppets
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgårds
Ondine 1211-2

Episode 4

Balys Dvarionas: Elegie For Violin & String Orchestra
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/Gidon Kremer
Teldec 063014654-2

Pēteris Plakidis: Two Grasshopper Dances for solo violin.
I. Sad Dance
II. Happy Dance
Gidon Kremer, violin
Teldec 063014654-2 2:04,


Peteris Vasks: Symphony for Strings, “Stimmen”
I. Stimmen Des Lebens
II. Stimme Des Gewissens
Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestar/Juha Kangas
Finlandia 450997892-2

Vytautas Barkauskas: Partita For Violin Solo, Praludium
Gidon Kremer, violin
Teldec 063014654-2
1:00, 1:28 , 1:25

Pēteris Vasks: Musica Dolorosa
Marc Francoux, cello; Gidon Kremer, violin: Deutsche
Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Teldec 063014654-2 14:30

Episode 5

Heino Eller: Tone Poem, “Dawn”
Scottish National Orchestra/Neeme Järvi
Chandos 8525

Eduard Tubin: Symphony No.5, Allegro energico
Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Järvi
Bis 306

Eduard Tubin: Suite from the ballet ‘Kratt’ Introduction
Peasant Dance
Dance of the Goblin
Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Järvi
Bis 306

Veljo Tormis: Crosswind
Svanholm Singers Tormis/Sofia Soderberg Eberhard
Toccata Classics 73

Veljo Tormis: Men’s Songs, Vol. 1
No. 5: Song of the Turkish War
No. 8: Dancing Song
Svanholm Singers/Sofia Soderberg Eberhard
Toccata Classics 73
1:17, 2:37

Arvo Pärt: Fratres
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/Gidon Kremer
Teldec 063014654-2

René Eespere: Trivium (excerpt)
Camerata Tallinn
Finlandia 11421-2

Urmas Sisask: Maja (from Starry Sky Cycle)
Lauri Väinmaa
Finlandia 11421-2

Arvo Pärt: Spiegel im Spiegel
Daniel Hope & Simon Mulligan
Nimbus 5631