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Essential Highlights Of Soile Isokoski

Isokoski,Soile
Release Date: 04/27/2010 
Label:  Ondine   Catalog #: 251-2  
Composer:  Richard StraussErkki MelartinAhti Sonninen(Toivo) Ilmari Hannikainen,   ... 
Performer:  Soile IsokoskiMarita Viitasalo
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



ESSENTIAL HIGHLIGHTS OF SOILE ISOKOSKI Soile Isokoski (sop); Marek Janowski, cond; RSO Berlin; Marita Viitasalo (pn) ONDINE ODE 251-2D (2 CDs: 132:45 Text and Translation)


R. STRAUSS 4 Last Songs. Orchestral Songs.


Finnish Songs by: MELARTIN, SONNINEN, I. HANNIKAINEN, V. HANNIKAINEN, KASKI, PACIUS, KILPINEN, MERIKANTO, HÄMÄLÄINEN

Read more /> By the magic of an outer cardboard wrapping, this set combines in a budget issue two previous Soile Isokoski CDs: ODE 963-2 (the Finnish songs) and ODE 982-2 (the Strauss Lieder). Marc Mandel previously reviewed the Strauss CD in considerable detail in Fanfare 26:2 (saving me much trouble) and gave it a glowing recommendation, putting it on his Want List for that year. I am in absolute agreement with him regarding Isokoski’s flawless singing and deeply felt interpretation, but am less enamored with Janowski’s conducting; to my ears he plows through the music superficially, scanting some of the instrumental detail and failing to shape phrases sufficiently. But then, I admittedly am deeply wedded to the slowest performance of this work on disc, the Jessye Norman/Kurt Masur/Leipzig Gewandhaus recording on Philips. Janowski’s overall timing is on a par with many other versions (though his “Frühling” at 2:59 may be the fastest of all time), so it may be a matter of what I am used to; but for me this autumnal, ruminative music needs time and space to unfold and breathe in order to be fully savored, and Janowski does not provide that. My opinion of the other songs on the disc is the same. Another problem is the recorded sound; Isokoski is placed forward, while the orchestra is distantly recessed in an overly resonant and rather muddy acoustic. Still, Strauss singing doesn’t get any better than with Isokoski, so I’m not about to relinquish this disc.


Isokoski has recorded two other CDs of Finnish songs and hymns, reviewed by Henry Fogel in 27:6 and William Zagorski in 29:5. Both gave high praise to those discs, and this is of a piece with them. The contents include 28 songs: three by Erkki Melartin (1875–1937), one by Ahti Sonninen (1914–84), three by Ilmari Hannikainen (1892–1955), one by Väinö Hannikainen (1900–60), three by Heino Kaski (1885–1957), two by Fredrik Pacius (1809–91), four by Yrjö Kilpinen (1892–1959), eleven by Oskar Merikanto (1868–1924), and one by Kalervo Hämäläinen (b. 1917). This is simple, open-hearted, thoroughly pleasurable music, and Isokoski sings it with heartfelt commitment, ably seconded by her accompanist. The sound here is also somewhat reverberant, but that does not present the problem noted in the companion disc. Both CDs have dual-language texts. At the price, despite my reservations about Janowski, this issue can be warmly recommended to any lover of the Romantic song repertoire.


FANFARE: James A. Altena
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Works on This Recording

1. Lieder (4), Op. 36: no 1, Das Rosenband by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; Germany 
2. Lieder (6), Op. 68: no 2, Ich wollt' ein Sträusslein binden by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Germany 
3. Lieder (6), Op. 68: no 3, Säusle, liebe Myrthe by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Germany 
4. Lieder (6), Op. 68: no 4, Als mir dein Lied erklang by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Germany 
5. Lieder (5), Op. 39: no 4, Befreit by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
6. Lieder (4), Op. 27: no 1, Ruhe, meine Seele by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Germany 
7. Lieder (5), Op. 41: no 1, Wiegenlied by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1899; Germany 
8. Lieder (6), Op. 37: no 3, Meinem Kinde by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; Germany 
9. Lieder (8), Op. 10: no 1, Zueignung by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; Germany 
10. Lieder (4), Op. 27: no 4, Morgen by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Germany 
11. Lieder (6), Op. 56: no 6, Die heiligen drei Könige by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1906; Germany 
12. Four Last Songs, AV 150 by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1948; Germany 
13. Along forest paths I wander, Op. 4 no 1 by Erkki Melartin
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Finland 
14. Miriam's Song I, Op. 4 no 3 by Erkki Melartin
Performer:  Marita Viitasalo (Piano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Finland 
15. Miriam's Song II by Erkki Melartin
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
16. Do Not Call Me Flower, Op 14/5 by Ahti Sonninen
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
17. Peace by (Toivo) Ilmari Hannikainen
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
Written: 1906 
18. O Mother Dear, Op 34 by (Toivo) Ilmari Hannikainen
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
19. Sitting On The Shore, Op 5/1 by (Toivo) Ilmari Hannikainen
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
20. Marja-Liisa, Op 18/3 by Väinö Hannikainen
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
21. After You Went Away by Heino Kaski
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
22. I Hear Them Singing Again, Op 6/2 by Heino Kaski
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
23. The Hunt of King Charles: Ballad by Fredrik Pacius
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
24. Child of Finland by Fredrik Pacius
Performer:  Marita Viitasalo (Piano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
25. Songs, Op. 23: Summer night (wds. Koskenniemi) by Yryö Kilpinen
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
26. Songs: In the evening, Op. 19/7 by Yryö Kilpinen
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
Written: 1920 
27. My Love Lies in the Ground, Op 3/3 by Yryö Kilpinen
Performer:  Marita Viitasalo (Piano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
28. Songs, Op. 2: No. 1, Bye bye, my sweet swaddled baby (Pai pai paitaressu) by (Frans) Oskar Merikanto
Performer:  Marita Viitasalo (Piano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
29. Songs, Op. 47: No. 1, The wood doves by (Frans) Oskar Merikanto
Performer:  Marita Viitasalo (Piano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
30. Songs, Op. 24: No. 1, When the sun shines by (Frans) Oskar Merikanto
Performer:  Marita Viitasalo (Piano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
31. Songs, Op. 53: No. 1, Apple blossom by (Frans) Oskar Merikanto
Performer:  Marita Viitasalo (Piano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
32. Songs, Op. 40: No. 2, Ave Maria by (Frans) Oskar Merikanto
Performer:  Marita Viitasalo (Piano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
33. Songs, Op. 20: No. 1, Thou art a nugget of gold by (Frans) Oskar Merikanto
Performer:  Marita Viitasalo (Piano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
34. Songs, Op. 47: No. 2, Like the dying embers grow dark by (Frans) Oskar Merikanto
Performer:  Marita Viitasalo (Piano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
35. Songs, Op. 71: No. 1, I am alive! by (Frans) Oskar Merikanto
Performer:  Marita Viitasalo (Piano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
36. Songs, Op. 36: No. 2, The starling by (Frans) Oskar Merikanto
Performer:  Marita Viitasalo (Piano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
37. Songs, Op. 11: No. 1, To the Spring Birds in the South by (Frans) Oskar Merikanto
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
38. Songs, Op. 30: No. 2, Sing to me, girl! by (Frans) Oskar Merikanto
Performer:  Marita Viitasalo (Piano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
39. (A) Lapland Mother Lullaby by Kalervo Hämäläinen
Performer:  Marita Viitasalo (Piano), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
40. Songs, Op. 23: no 1, From the shore by Yrjö Kilpinen
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Marita Viitasalo (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; Finland 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Essential Highlights Of Soile Isokoski April 15, 2012 By Sauli Turja (Akaa, Finland) See All My Reviews "It is said, that Soile Isokoski is the present of Finland to the whole world. I will recognize this valuation. Her voice is very natural, mature and beautiful, but girlish also. Marita Viitasalo is a very good companion. Nobody has sung the finnish songs as Soile. (The world should hear how Soile Isokoski sings the finnish psalms!) Soile Isokoski has taken a very difficult job when she sings the songs of Richard Strauss, but she does it as a native German woman, very expressionsless but putting her soul very intensively into these songs." Report Abuse
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