Aulis Sallinen

Biography

Born: April 9, 1935; Salmi, Finland  
Aulis Sallinen is one of the most prominent figures in Finnish music, and his music often focuses on figures from Finnish history. While his lyric writing shows a strong Sibelius influence, there is also a certain acerbic touch in both his subject matter and his music that is strongly reminiscent of Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and Weill. His opera The Red Line, in particular, has a sardonic, slightly bitter tone that strongly resembles Read more Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Like Weill, he also used jazz elements, as in the ironic song in Kullervo in which Kullervo learns that he has slept with his own sister.

He first studied the violin and then piano, and his interest in composing began when he started improvising jazz and themes and variations on the piano. At the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, he studied composition under Aarre Merikanto and Joonas Kokkonen, and upon graduating, was the Administrator of the Finnish Radio Symphony, a position he held for nearly ten years. His first published composition was his 1962 Mauermusik, a tribute to a young German man who was killed while trying to cross the Berlin Wall. It is a powerful work with highly expressive writing, and brought him to international attention. Aside from its political content, it was hailed as an example of how contemporary classical music can be expressive and approachable. In 1963, he returned to the Academy as a professor, a post which he held for thirteen years.

His first operatic composition, Ratsumies, was written for the Savonlinna Opera Festival, and premiered in 1974. It was a major success, and many attributed the sudden spurt of major Finnish opera productions to its success, and that of Kokkonen's Viimeiset kiusaukset. This was followed by a commission for the Finnish National Opera, Punainen viiva (The red line), for which he wrote the libretto himself, and was premiered in 1978. It was also successful, and in 1981 he was named Professor of Arts for Life by the Finnish government. His next opera, Kunningas lahtee Raskaan (The King goes to France), was a joint commission from the Covent Garden, the BBC, and the Savonlinna Opera Festival, where it premiered in 1984. His fourth work, Kullervo, based on the legend that inspired Sibelius to one of his great nationalist works, was originally written for the Finnish National Opera, but since the opening of their new house was delayed, it was instead premiered in Los Angeles (1992).

In contrast to his operas, which are nearly all somber, even bleak, his instrumental and orchestral music has a strong spiritual element and is often even rhapsodic, as in his Chamber Music II or Sunrise Serenade, or even playful, as in the Nocturnal Dances. While his symphonies are generally more austere, particularly the Fifth and Sixth, they, too, show a strong lyrical element, reminiscent of Sibelius. As the title of the Sunrise Serenade suggests, he often finds the inspiration for these works in visual elements rather than dramatic or episodic ones. Read less
Sallinen: King Lear / Salminen, Finnish National Opera
Release Date: 05/12/2015   Label: Ondine  
Catalog: 4010   Number of Discs: 1
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There are 45 Aulis Sallinen recordings available.

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Works

Aulis Sallinen


MOST POPULAR WORKS
I. Il tempo energico e sostenuto
II. Chaconne
III. Vivace/ Giocoso - Finale
I. Andante poco giocoso
II. Dona nobis pacem (attacca)
III. Finale
I. Washington Mosaics I
II. Intermezzo I
III. Intermezzo II
IV. Intermezzo III (attacca)
V. Washington Mosaics II
I. The Islands of the Sounds. The sounds of the islands
II. Air. Rain
III. Kyeburn Diggings
IV. Finale, "Simply by sailing in a new direction / You could enlarge the world" (Allen Curnow)
WORKS
Part I
Part II
I. Andante sostenuto
II. Larghetto
III. Allegro giocoso
Act I: Introduction: Untamoinen verkot laski kalervon kalavetehen (Chorus)
Act I Scene 1: Mika hatana? Mika painaa? Taas (Unto's Wife, Unto)
Act I Scene 1: Pienena jai isostansa, matalana maammostansa (Chorus)
Act I Scene 1: Jos olisivat kaikki puut yksi puu, jos olisivat kaikki kirveet yksi kirves (, Kimmo)
Act I Scene 1: Ellospa, hyva Jumala, elkosi sina ikana (Chorus)
Act I Scene 1: ! Han minut siina unessa tappoi (Unto, Unto's Wife, )
Act I Scene 1: Moi siita Kalervon pojan (Chorus)
Act I Scene 2: Mina tahdon olla tuoksuva ja lammin kuin nuori leipa (Smith's Young Wife)
Act I Scene 2: Oi terve, sepan kaunis puoliso! (Hunter, Smith's Young Wife)
Act I Scene 2: Mina tulin sinun luoksesi yolla. Mina tulen taas. Kohta on yo (, Smith's Young Wife)
I. Man made from Sleep
II. Cradle Song for a Dead Horseman
III. Three Dreams each within each
IV. There is no Stream
I. Lento
II. Interludium
III. Vivace
No. 1. Kuin tulvavesi elamani paivat (Like Floodwaters the Days of My Life)
No. 2. Me vaellamme taalla (We Wander Here)
No. 3. Mina, syntymation (I, Unborn)
No. 4. Tuba mirum
No. 5. Voin ajatella sinun lahteneen (I Can Think You Departed)
No. 6. Dies irae
No. 7. Kun viela olet talla rannalla (While You Are Still on This Shore)
No. 8. Ella taytta elamaa (Live a Full Life)
I. Il tempo energico e sostenuto
II. Chaconne
III. Vivace/ Giocoso - Finale
I. Andante poco giocoso
II. Dona nobis pacem (attacca)
III. Finale
I. Washington Mosaics I
II. Intermezzo I
III. Intermezzo II
IV. Intermezzo III (attacca)
V. Washington Mosaics II
I. The Islands of the Sounds. The sounds of the islands
II. Air. Rain
III. Kyeburn Diggings
IV. Finale, "Simply by sailing in a new direction / You could enlarge the world" (Allen Curnow)
I. Ilmarin ja Kultanaisen haakulkue (The Wedding Procession of Ilmari and the Golden Woman)
II. Ainon laulu (The Song of Aino)
III. Lemminki Pohjolassa (Lemminki in Pohjola)
IV. Lemminki hiihtaa Hiiden hirven (Lemminki Hunts the Devil's Elk)
V. Lemminki Tuonelassa (Lemminki in Tuonela)
VI. Vainon soitto (Vaino's Song)
VII. Lemminki ja Saaren neidot (Lemminki and the Maidens of the Island)


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