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Sounds Of Finland / Pohjola, Tapiola Children's Choir


Release Date: 11/21/1995 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 94   Spars Code: AAD 
Composer:  Jean SibeliusP.J. HannikainenMooses PutroJukka Koskinen,   ... 
Performer:  Olli PohjolaJaana IkonenMatti PohjolaElina Eirola,   ... 
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Come on. Be honest. How often do you listen to a recording that occasionally makes you smile and has the overall effect of making you feel happy and warm inside--and somewhat awed, and even hopeful for the future? What's more, the performances are uniformly entertaining and maintain the highest artistic and technical standard throughout. For me, it's the sound of children's voices singing that does it, especially when the repertoire is first class and the singing exemplifies the best effort of a well-trained choir. This recording, compiled from two different sessions in the late 1970s, shows Finland's Tapiola Children's Choir to be not only an outstanding children's ensemble, but one of the world's outstanding choirs, period. And the Read more repertoire is equally impressive, from Sibelius and Sallinen to Bach, Handel, and Praetorius. Along the way we get to discover, through these technically polished, perfectly tuned, bright-toned voices some relatively unknown works by Finnish composers such as Hannikainen, Kuula, Koskinen, and Pacius. Two Japanese songs that recently have become very popular with children's choirs in North America--Hotaru koi and Sakura--are given their best-recorded versions here, so full of energy and knowing musical expression. One of the best--and more difficult--selections is an anonymous song whose English translation is "Oh Nightingale, Come!"; another highlight is Sibelius' Sydämeni laulu (Song of My Heart), a strange but beautiful song about children sleeping, sweetly rocked by Tuonela's maid in the kingdom of the dead.


Most of the pieces are a cappella and although many of them present intonation challenges that would test the skills of any choir, they apparently stir not the slightest uncertainty among these fearless singers whose performances seem as natural for them as breath. Many listeners will be surprised to find the "big" work on the disc to be a little-known Finnish mystery play--Marjatta, matala neiti (Marjatta, Lowly Maiden)--by Einojuhani Rautavaara. This 22-minute piece for soloists and chorus (with a brief spoken opening and closing by a narrator), was commissioned for this choir, and it's based on a version of the nativity story from the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic. This is a charming and quite ambitious work that truly demands skilled soloists and choir. Most of the singing is a cappella, and although the musical style is tonal, it's harmonically advanced and rhythmically adventurous. Rautavaara creates a sort of otherworldly atmosphere that perfectly evokes the story's mystery and magic--he also asks for some very worldly sounds when the chorus makes the "baaas" of the sheep to introduce a scene where Marjatta becomes a shepherdess.


The sound is not perfect: you can tell that two different venues, and presumably slightly different personnel, were used because the first 10 tracks are brighter and the choir more distant than the last nine, which includes the closer-up, heftier-sounding Rautavaara work. None of this is problematic; you won't even care once the singing begins.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1897, Op. 23: Precious Finland by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897/1899; Finland 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Partsongs (9), Op. 18: no 6, The song of my heart."German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
2. Partsongs (9), Op. 18: no 6, The song of my heart by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1907; Finland 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1897, Op. 23: Precious Finland."
German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
3. Summer Twilight by P.J. Hannikainen
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 4 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "The Guardian Angel."German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
4. The Guardian Angel by P.J. Hannikainen
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; Finland 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 4 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Summer Twilight."
German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
5. Prayer "Rukous" by Mooses Putro
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 1 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
6. To us a festival is given by Jukka Koskinen
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 1 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
7. Night by Toivo Kuula
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
8. Evening Song by Jorma Panula
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Finland 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 3 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
9. Burro Matti "Lappish Joke" by Traditional
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Written: Finland 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 1 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: Arranger: Akos Papp.
German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
10. Song of Finland by Fredrik Pacius
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854; Finland 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 4 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Maamme."German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
11. Maamme by Fredrik Pacius
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848; Finland 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 4 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Song of Finland."
German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
12. Winter was hard, Op. 20 by Aulis Sallinen
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989; Finland 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 1 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
13. Hotaru Koi by Roh Ogura
Performer:  Olli Pohjola (Flute)
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 5 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: Japanese 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Song around a Song, Op. 50: no 2, Sakura" and "Konpira fune fune."German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
14. Song around a Song, Op. 50: no 2, Sakura by Aulis Sallinen
Performer:  Olli Pohjola (Flute)
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1980; Finland 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 5 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: Japanese 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Hotaru Koi" and "Konpira fune fune."
German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
15. Konpira fune fune by Traditional
Performer:  Olli Pohjola (Flute)
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 5 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: Japanese 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Hotaru Koi" and "Song around a Song, Op. 50: no 2, Sakura."
German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
16. Maria, Herran piikanen by Traditional
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Venue:  Tapiola Church, Finland 
Length: 3 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: Tapiola Church, Finland (01/19/1979 - 01/20/1979) 
17. Orgelbüchlein: Puer natus in Bethlehem, BWV 603 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jaana Ikonen (Organ), Matti Pohjola (Cello)
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1713-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 3 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Jesu, nun sei gepreiset, BWV 41: no 1, Jesu, nun sei gepreiset."German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977)
This selection is sung in Finnish and Latin. 
18. Jesu, nun sei gepreiset, BWV 41: no 1, Jesu, nun sei gepreiset by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jaana Ikonen (Organ), Matti Pohjola (Cello)
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 3 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Orgelbüchlein: Puer natus in Bethlehem, BWV 603."
German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977)
This selection is sung in Finnish and LatinFinnish and Latin. 
19. Messiah, HWV 56: Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Venue:  Tapiola Church, Finland 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: Tapiola Church, Finland (01/19/1979 - 01/20/1979) 
20. Heinilla harkien kaukalon "In the hay by the oxen's trough" by Anonymous
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Written: Finland 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
21. Joudu, satakiel "Oh nightingale, come" by Anonymous
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Written: Finland 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 3 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
22. Christmas Songs (5), Op. 1: no 5, High are the snowdrifts by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Jaana Ikonen (Organ)
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Finland 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
23. I kneel down at your manger by Anonymous
Performer:  Jaana Ikonen (Organ)
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Written: Finland 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
24. Marjatta, the Lowly Maiden by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Performer:  Elina Eirola (Violin), Anni-Karja Kontu (Voice), Sinikka Koivisto (Voice),
Olli Pohjola (Flute), Einojuhani Rautavaara (Spoken Vocals), Ulla Sippola (Voice),
Jaana Ikonen (Organ), Matti Pohjola (Percussion), Kati Bergman (Voice)
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1975 
Venue:  German Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 22 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: German Church, Helsinki, Finland (11/25/1977 - 11/26/1977) 
25. Musae Sioniae, Book 6: Psallite unigenito by Michael Praetorius
Conductor:  Erkki Pohjola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Children's Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Germany 
Venue:  Tapiola Church, Finland 
Length: 1 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: Tapiola Church, Finland (01/19/1979 - 01/20/1979) 

Sound Samples

Masonic Ritual Music, Op. 113 - 6 partsongs, Op. 18: I. Finlandia Hymn. II. Song of my Heart
2 Songs: I. Summer Twilight. II. Sleep, my Child, Sleep
Rukous (Prayer): Prayer
To Us a Festival is Given
Evening
Evening Song
Burro Matti, Lapin jojku
2 Songs: I. Song of Finland. II. Our Country
Vintern var hard (The Winter was Hard), Op. 20: The Winter Was Hard
3 Japanese Songs: I. Hotaru koi. II. Sakura. III. Kompira-Fune-Fune
Maria, the Lord's Little Maiden
2 Songs: I. A Son is Born in Bethlehem. II. Let Me Praise Jesus
Messiah, HWV 56: Rejoice, Daughter of Sion
Let Us Chant
In the Hay by the Oxen's Through
Oh Nightingale, Come!
Lemminkainen Suite, Op. 22: The Snow Is Falling
I Kneel Down at your Manger
Marjatta matala neiti (Marjatta, the Lowly Maiden): Marjatta, Lowly Maiden, Finnish Mystery

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