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Sibelius: Cantatas / P. Jarvi, Estonian National


Release Date: 07/08/2003 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 45589   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Sofia Joons
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian State Symphony OrchestraEstonian National Male ChoirEllerhein Girls' Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This album received the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance.

Labeled a disc of Sibelius cantatas but more evocatively described in the liner notes as a collection of patriotic works for choir and orchestra, this release focuses on a part of the Sibelius repertory that performers have shunned for decades. These pieces represent not the darkly introspective Sibelius but rather the big, nationalistic, occasionally bombastic, and often Wagnerian Sibelius familiar from the composer's music of the 1890s, much of it written for the stage and/or concerned with the blood and guts of Finnish epic poetry. The starting point here for many listeners will be the final selection, the choral arrangement of Finlandia created by
Read more Sibelius in 1938 as darkness spread over Europe -- one of a very few works dating from the last 30 years of the composer's life. The rest of these pieces fall into the tradition of national-flavored choral music that was long proscribed by the tenets of high modernism but is now conceded to be great fun at times. Some may consign a piece or two to the potboiler category; parts of the Swedish-language battle cantata Sandels come off like rejected passages from The Pirates of Penzance. But many touches in the epic-type pieces, such as the unexpected spoken poetry in Snöfrid (1900), will reach out and grab an audience. Sibelius' nationalism was always concerned with natural beauty, and the radiant Oma maa (Our Native Land, 1918) seems in this wonderful recording by the Estonian National Male Choir and Ellerhein Girls' Choir a strong nominee for classical find of the year. Paavo Järvi is an ideal conductor for this music, drawing from the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra the precise string blasts and well-controlled brass sounds essential to the realization of Sibelius' orchestral textures. This recording unearths music that will be new to most and enjoyable for almost all.

-- James Manheim, All Music Guide Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Snöfrid, Op. 29 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Sofia Joons (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian State Symphony Orchestra,  Estonian National Male Choir,  Ellerhein Girls' Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1900; Finland 
Date of Recording: 09/2002 
Venue:  Estonia Concert Hall, Tallin, Estonia 
Length: 11 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
2. Our Native Land, Op. 92 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian State Symphony Orchestra,  Estonian National Male Choir,  Ellerhein Girls' Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Finland 
Date of Recording: 09/2002 
Venue:  Estonia Concert Hall, Tallin, Estonia 
Length: 11 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
3. Väinö's Song, Op. 110 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian State Symphony Orchestra,  Estonian National Male Choir,  Ellerhein Girls' Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926; Finland 
Date of Recording: 09/2002 
Venue:  Estonia Concert Hall, Tallin, Estonia 
Length: 8 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
4. Sandels, Op. 28 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian State Symphony Orchestra,  Estonian National Male Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
Date of Recording: 09/2002 
Venue:  Estonia Concert Hall, Tallin, Estonia 
Length: 9 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: Composition written: Finland (1898).
Composition revised: Finland (1915). 
5. Hymn of the Earth, Op. 95 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian State Symphony Orchestra,  Estonian National Male Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1920; Finland 
Date of Recording: 09/2002 
Venue:  Estonia Concert Hall, Tallin, Estonia 
Length: 7 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
6. Choral Songs (3), Op. 31: no 1, A Song for Lemminkäinen by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian State Symphony Orchestra,  Estonian National Male Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1894; Finland 
Date of Recording: 09/2002 
Venue:  Estonia Concert Hall, Tallin, Estonia 
Length: 23 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
7. Finlandia, Op. 26 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian State Symphony Orchestra,  Estonian National Male Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
Date of Recording: 09/2002 
Venue:  Estonia Concert Hall, Tallin, Estonia 
Length: 8 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: Composition written: Finland (1899 - 1900). 

Sound Samples

Snöfrid Op. 29
Oma maa (`Our Native Land`)
Väinön virsi (`Väinön`s Song`) Op. 110
Sandels Op.28
Maan virsi (`Hymn to the Earth`) Op. 95
Laula Lemminkäiselle (`Song to Lemminkäinen`) Op. 31
Finlandia Op. 26

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 One of the Joys of Estonia's Choral Tradition April 2, 2013 By Herschel Anderson (Mesa, AZ) See All My Reviews "The Ellerhein Girl's Choir and the Estonian National Male Choir, together as a mixed choir with the Estonian National Symphony, sing the first three of Sibelius' CANTATAS; and the Male Choir with the symphony sing the last four including the world reknown FINLANDIA. This is one of those recordings that a person can enjoy over and over again. The choral singing is part of the Estonian national tradition of public singing and reflects the quality of voices developed within that tradition. The balance between orchestra and choir is perfect with each complementing the other. This will be a valuable addition to anyone's choral music collection both for the quality of the music and for the inclusion of seven CANTATAS by Finland's Jean Sibelius. Highly Recommend." Report Abuse
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