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”

II. 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