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Jumalaa Kiittaa Sieluni - Hymns In Finnish / Isokoski, Et Al


Release Date: 01/24/2006 
Label:  Ondine   Catalog #: 1070   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  AnonymousTraditionalMartti HelaHuugo Nyberg,   ... 
Performer:  Soile IsokoskiMarita Viitasalo
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In this release, Finnish soprano Soile Isokoski applies her enormous talents to repertoire that is dear to her. Having grown up in a vicarage, these simple, quite Lutheran, hymns inhabit a special place in her heart, and she performs them with vocal purity and spiritual insight. The pieces are all culled from the 1986 incarnation of the Finnish Hymnal, the first version of which was published in 1580. Revised and amended over the years, its progress can be likened to that of the English Hymnal once updated by the estimable Ralph Vaughan Williams. Unfortunately, the track listing in the booklet apparently gives one a thumbnail sketch of the history of each of the pieces, but only in Finnish. From it I can, however, discern the earliest date Read more of each of the tunes, a number of which long pre-date the Finnish Hymnal’s first publication. The oldest pieces are dated 1539. The rest range from the 17th century to the 20th century.

The music is as austerely beautiful as a prize piece of Finnish ceramics. The hymns are almost Bach-like in their harmonic progressions and symmetry but, if one listens carefully, one can hear the influence of Finnish folk song lurking just beneath their surfaces.

I am a most irreligious person. I find my solace in the unjudgmental and undoctrinaire world of music. However, given the last 15 or so years when so many music aficionados, myself included, have embraced the medievalism of Arvo Pärt, or the long-limbed lines of Górecki’s Third Symphony with all their religious baggage, I find this simple and unadorned music deeply moving in ways I don’t really understand.

I suspect a lot of this has to do with the magic of Soile Isokoski’s vocal artistry. In these pages, and in another context, I once wrote that great vocalists (from Caruso forward) seduce us. And so does she—into her very private world, giving us an inkling into her numerous operatic triumphs. Accompanist Marita Viitasalo is with her hand in glove. The choice of harmonium rather than piano for some of these hymns is telling.

Texts are provided, but they are, alas, only in Finnish.

FANFARE: William Zagorski
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Works on This Recording

1.
Jumalaa kiitää sieluni by Traditional
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Language: Finnish 
2.
Lahjoistas, Jeesus, pyhistä by Traditional
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Language: Finnish 
3.
Jeesuksesta laulan by Martti Hela
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923 
Language: Finnish 
4.
Silmäisi eteen, Jeesus by Huugo Nyberg
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903 
Language: Finnish 
5.
Vain sinä tunnet minut, Vapahtaja by Juhani Haapasalo
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Language: Finnish 
6.
Valvoa mun, Jeesus, anna by Pohjois-Savosta,
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Language: Finnish 
7.
Jeesus, sä ainoa heikkojen auttaja by C.W. Sorlie
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Language: Finnish 
8.
Päivä vain ja hetki kerrallansa by Oskar Ahnfelt
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; Sweden 
Language: Finnish 
9.
Herrasta veisaa kieleni by Pohjois-Savosta,
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Language: Finnish 
10.
Thank You, Lord! by Oskar Merikanto
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; Finland 
Language: Finnish 
11.
Sinuhun turvaan, Jumala by Pohjois-Savosta,
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Language: Finnish 
12.
Kirkkaat riemun äänet soivat by Johann Schop
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Period: Baroque 
Language: Finnish 
13.
Mä silmät luon ylös taivaaseen by Rudolf Lagi
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Language: Finnish 
14.
Ystävä sä lapsien by Ivar Widéen
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Language: Finnish 
15.
Nyt kulkee halki korpimaan by William Mason
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Language: Finnish 
16.
Suurempi kuin sydämeni by Traditional
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Language: Finnish 
17.
Lähtöhetken lähetessä by H.W. Pöyhtäri
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Language: Finnish 
18.
Tule kanssani, Herra Jeesus by Armas Maasalo
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; Finland 
Language: Finnish 
19.
Ilta on tullut, Luojani by Sofie Lithenius
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Finland 
Language: Finnish 
20.
Tuolla taivaan asunnoissa by Leevi Madetoja
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Finland 
Language: Finnish 

Sound Samples

Jumalaa kiitaa sieluni
Lahjoistas, Jeesus, pyhista
Jeesuksesta laulan
Silmaisi eteen, Jeesus
Vain sina tunnet minut, Vapahtaja
Valvoa mun, Jeesus, anna
Jeesus, sa ainoa heikkojen auttaja
Paiva vain ja hetki kerrallansa
Herrasta veisaa kieleni
Kiitos sulle Jumalani (Thank You, My God)
Sinuhun turvaan, Jumala (In thee I trust, my God)
Kirkaat riemun aanet soivat
Ma silmat luon ylos taivaaseen
Ystava sa lapsien (God who loves the children)
Nyt kulkee halki korpimaan (Marching through the desert)
Suurempi kuin sydameni
Lahtohetken lahetessa
Tule kanssani, Herra Jeesus
Ilta on tullut, Luojani (Evening has come, my Creator)
Tuolla taivaan asunnoissa

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