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Rautavaara: Choral Works

Rautavaara / Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Release Date: 10/30/2012 
Label:  Ondine   Catalog #: 1186   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Einojuhani Rautavaara
Performer:  Pia FreundLilli PaasikiviPetteri SalomaaJyrki Korhonen,   ... 
Conductor:  Timo NuoranneLeif SegerstamEric-Olof Söderstrom
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber ChoirFinnish Radio Symphony OrchestraFinnish Philharmonic Choir,   ... 
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Reviews of some of the original recordings that make up this set:

The Last Frontier

It's taken far too long for classical musicians--and through them, the world's classical audiences--to recognize the substantial creative credentials of 71-year-old Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara. His past and ongoing contributions to 20th century music, especially in the symphonic arena, are now being fully and authoritatively explored--performed and recorded by some of the world's best orchestras, choirs, and soloists. This new recording, part of the "Rautavaara Collection" series on Finnish label Ondine, is an excellent place to begin if you're looking for
Read more an introduction to Rautavaara's music.

Rautavaara's music almost invariably conveys a sense of forward motion--another Sibelius trademark--often manifested in layered melodies and ostinato figures. Listen to the opening minutes of the "Fantasy for Chorus and Orchestra, 1997", On the Last Frontier, and you'll literally feel the movement and be carried along with it. Leif Segerstam and his Helsinki Philharmonic really know this music and revel in it--in the best sense of the word. The sound is full and detailed, if slightly boomy in the loudest passages. Rautavaara's music seems to be appearing more often in more places these days, and thanks to labels such as Ondine and BIS, we can expect this welcome trend to continue.

– David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com

Sacred Choral Works

Choral enthusiasts--no, make that all lovers of beautiful, accessible, yet intellectually challenging and emotionally affecting music--put this on your list of absolutely must have discs. And, without running the risk of misrepresenting the music's character one little bit, I assure you that you will be pleasantly surprised to find that these pieces have a profound spiritual depth not born of fashionable compositional or pseudo-ecclesiastical devices (think John Tavener here) but rather spring from impeccable technique--Rautavaara's absolutely "right" instincts for text setting and choral timbre and texture, and from his incredibly vibrant, scintillating harmonic language. It helps to have the composer's own notes that partially explain the works performed and briefly refer to his lifelong interest in "metaphysical and religious topics and texts." If religion is defined as a "feeling for and affinity to infinity", then, Rautavaara says, "I obviously am religious."

The works span a period of 40 years and range from service-oriented yet concert-level music--psalms, a magnificent Magnificat, communion hymns, a setting of The Lord's Prayer, a short Mass, and an Ave Maria--to a beautiful Christmas hymn, "Marjatan jouluvirsi" (Marjatta's Christmas Hymn), taken from Rautavaara's mystery play Marjatta, Lowly Maiden, a setting of the last canto of the Kalevala. There's not an inferior piece among the 15 featured works, and the Finnish Radio Chamber Choir once again amazes us with its superior technique, bright, richly colored tone, and knowing interpretive sense. This is wonderful stuff, and very difficult to sing--but it doesn't have that pretentious, self-consciously complex manner that lesser composers sometimes use to lend (artificial) legitimacy to second-rate work. It's clear, from this and several other recent recordings of Rautavaara's music, instrumental and vocal, that this 71-year-old Finnish master truly commands a musical language that's not only very much of and in the present, but that, because it follows its own original course, will continue to be heard when the bells toll for the third millennium.

– David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com

Vigilia
If the prospect of an all-night vigil sung unaccompanied in Finnish doesn’t enthrall you, don’t worry: you’re not alone. But give this disc a try, if you can: it delivers far more than it promises. Einojuhani Rautavaara is not only Finland’s leading composer of symphonies, he is also a fine setter of words, as a substantial corpus of choral and other vocal works testifies. The inspiration for Vigilia, subtitled ‘All-Night Vigil in Memory of St John the Baptist’, was a childhood visit to an island monastery, where the impressionable youngster experienced tolling bells, bearded monks in robes, and saints, kings and angels in iconic form. These dazzling images were distilled many years later into two unaccompanied service settings, Vespers and Matins, that draw on a comparably rich variety of textures and techniques: growling bassi profundi, soloists appearing both singly and in pairs, and a chorus that occasionally breaks into expressive glissandi and clusters. The Finnish Radio Chamber Choir under Timo Nuoranne is more than a match for all this, communicating a wide emotional range with urgency and unassuming virtuosity. The five soloists are equally admirable, and the end result is a work that can give immense satisfaction on both aesthetic and spiritual levels.
Performance: 5 (out of 5); Sound: 5 (out of 5)

– Barry Millington, BBC Music Magazine Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Vigilia by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Performer:  Pia Freund (Soprano), Lilli Paasikivi (Mezzo Soprano), Petteri Salomaa (Baritone),
Jyrki Korhonen (Bass), Topi Lehtipuu (Tenor)
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Finland 
Date of Recording: 10/1997 
Venue:  Kerava Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 64 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
2.
True and False Unicorn by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971; Finland 
Date of Recording: 05/2002 
Venue:  House of Culture, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 46 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: English 
3.
Cancion de nuestro tiempo by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; Finland 
Date of Recording: 10/2002 
Venue:  St. John's Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 14 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: Spanish 
4.
In the Shade of the Willow by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1998; Finland 
Date of Recording: 10/2002 
Venue:  St. John's Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 10 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
5.
On the last frontier by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Philharmonic Choir,  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1997 
Date of Recording: 10/1998 
Venue:  House of Culture, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 24 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
6.
Departure by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Eric-Olof Söderstrom
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1975; Finland 
Venue:  Järvenpää Hall, Finland 
Length: 1 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
7.
The Bride by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Performer:  Johanna Almark (Soprano)
Conductor:  Eric-Olof Söderstrom
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1975; Finland 
Date of Recording: 1994 
Venue:  Järvenpää Hall, Finland 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
8.
Praktish Deutsch by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Eric-Olof Söderstrom
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1969; Finland 
Venue:  Järvenpää Hall, Finland 
Length: 6 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: German 
9.
With joy we go dancing by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Performer:  Mia Huhta (Soprano)
Conductor:  Eric-Olof Söderstrom
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; Finland 
Venue:  Järvenpää Hall, Finland 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
10.
Summer Night by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Eric-Olof Söderstrom
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1975; Finland 
Venue:  Järvenpää Hall, Finland 
Length: 3 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
11.
The Cathedral by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Performer:  Olli Hannuksela (Tenor), Kari Kaarna (Bass), Johanna Almark (Soprano)
Conductor:  Eric-Olof Söderstrom
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1983; Finland 
Venue:  Järvenpää Hall, Finland 
Length: 16 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
12.
Suite de Lorca, Op. 72 by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Performer:  Johanna Almark (Soprano)
Conductor:  Eric-Olof Söderstrom
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1973; Finland 
Venue:  Järvenpää Hall, Finland 
Length: 5 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
13.
Ludus verbalis, Op. 10 by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Eric-Olof Söderstrom
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; Finland 
Venue:  Järvenpää Hall, Finland 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: German 
14.
Nirvana Dharma by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Performer:  Petri Alanko (Flute), Johanna Almark (Soprano)
Conductor:  Eric-Olof Söderstrom
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; Finland 
Venue:  Järvenpää Hall, Finland 
Length: 8 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
15.
Die erste Elegie by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Performer:  Johanna Almark (Soprano)
Conductor:  Eric-Olof Söderstrom
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; Finland 
Venue:  Järvenpää Hall, Finland 
Length: 9 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: German 
16.
Credo by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1972 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  St. John's Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
17.
Magnificat by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Performer:  Johanna Talasniemi (Alto), Kaija Nuoranne (Soprano), Tuuli Lindeberg (Soprano),
Annica Sjölund (Soprano)
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; Finland 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  St. John's Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 16 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
18.
Lord's Prayer by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1973; Finland 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  St. John's Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
19.
Ave Maria by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; Finland 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  St. John's Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
20.
Christmas Hymn by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953/1993; Finland 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  St. John's Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 1 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
21.
Legend by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1985; Finland 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  St. John's Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
22.
Canticum Mariae Virginis by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Performer:  Satu Klemi (Soprano), Heta Kokkomäki (Soprano)
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978; Finland 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  St. John's Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 7 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
23.
Marjatta, the Lowly Maiden: Marjatta's Christmas Hymn by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1975/1995 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  St. John's Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
24.
Communion, Op. 22 by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; Finland 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  St. John's Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 3 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: Swedish 
25.
Missa Duodecanonica by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; Finland 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  St. John's Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
26.
Psalm of Invocation by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971-1972; Finland 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  St. John's Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
27.
Evening Hymn by Einojuhani Rautavaara
Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971-1972; Finland 
Date of Recording: 01/1999 
Venue:  St. John's Church, Helsinki, Finland 
Length: 1 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 

Sound Samples

Vigilia: Vespers: -
Vigilia: Vespers: Psalm 103
Vigilia: Vespers: Katisma No. 1
Vigilia: Vespers: Psalm of Invocation
Vigilia: Vespers: Sticheron of Invocation
Vigilia: Vespers: Sticheron to the Mother of God
Vigilia: Vespers: Evening Hymn
Vigilia: Vespers: Ekteniya
Vigilia: Vespers: Sticheron of the Litany
Vigilia: Vespers: Ekteniya of the Litany
Vigilia: Vespers: Sticheron
Vigilia: Vespers: Troparion
Vigilia: Vespers: Troparion of the Feast
Vigilia: Vespers: Final Blessing
Vigilia: Matins: -
Vigilia: Matins: Troparion
Vigilia: Matins: Troparion No. 2
Vigilia: Matins: Hymn of Praise
Vigilia: Matins: Troparion of the Resurrection
Vigilia: Matins: Antiphon
Vigilia: Matins: Prokeimenon
Vigilia: Matins: Hymn of Resurrection
Vigilia: Matins: Canon: Irmos No. 1
Vigilia: Matins: Canon: Irmos No. 3
Vigilia: Matins: Canon: Irmos No. 4
Vigilia: Matins: Canon: Irmos No. 5
Vigilia: Matins: Canon: Irmos No. 6
Vigilia: Matins: Canon: Irmos No. 7
Vigilia: Matins: Canon: Irmos No. 8
Vigilia: Matins: Katabasis: Hymn of Thanksgiving of the Mother of God
Vigilia: Matins: Canon: Irmos No. 9
Vigilia: Matins: Sticheron of Thanksgiving
Vigilia: Matins: Troparion of the Resurrection
Vigilia: Matins: Final Blessing
Credo
Canticum Mariae Virginis
Herran rukous (The Lord's Prayer)
Psalm 23
Psalm 130
Magnificat
Magnificat: Quia respexit - Misericordia
Magnificat: Fecit potentiam
Magnificat: Suscepit Israel
Magnificat: Gloria
Nattvarden (Communion): Communion Hymn No. 1
Nattvarden (Communion): Communion Hymn No. 2
Nattvarden (Communion): Kyrie
Nattvarden (Communion): Herdepsalm (Shepherd Psalm)
Ave Maria
Missa duodecanonica: Kyrie
Missa duodecanonica: Sanctus
Missa duodecanonica: Agnus Dei
Rakkaus ei koskaan havia (Love Never Dies)
Legenda
Marjatan jouluvirsi
Joulun virsi (Christmas Hymn)
Avuksihuutopsalmi (Psalm of Invocation)
Ehtoohymni (Evening hymn)
Cancion de nuestro tiempo (Song of Our Time): I. Fragmentos de agonia (Fragments of Agony)
Cancion de nuestro tiempo (Song of Our Time): II. Meditacion primera y ultima (First and Last Meditation)
Cancion de nuestro tiempo (Song of Our Time): III. Ciudad sin sueno (Sleepless City)

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