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Grieg, Sibelius: Songs / Oramo, Mattila, Et Al


Release Date: 05/25/2004 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 80243   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jean SibeliusEdvard Grieg
Performer:  Karita Mattila
Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Wow! That is just about all I can say. This is a disc that has everything going for it: terrific singing, complete musical identification between performer and repertoire, warm and natural sonic reproduction, and high production values throughout. You can stop reading here—everything that follows will simply amplify this first paragraph.

As Mattila’s fame grows, her singing seems only to get better and better—more free and flowing, warmer, more secure on top, and more subtly colored. What we have here isn’t really singing—it is musical conversation. The Finnish soprano puts forward the words and music in a completely natural, convincing manner, as if she were communicating directly with you and no other listener. Her
Read more performance of Sibelius’s fiendishly difficult Luonnotar is as persuasive and powerful as any I’ve ever encountered, and that includes superb performances by Phyllis Curtin, Phyllis Bryn-Julson, and Elisabeth Soderstroem. Mattila perfectly conveys the tension and despair in the central section of this remarkable tone poem for soprano and orchestra, while never sacrificing the evenness and glow of her tone. On the other hand, the simple, sad beauty of Solveig’s two songs from Grieg’s Peer Gynt cannot have been done more beautifully.

Throughout, Oramo demonstrates the validity of his growing reputation as a conductor, and the wisdom of the City of Birmingham Symphony officials responsible for taking a chance on him to succeed Simon Rattle. His conducting is at one with his soloist. The only (very slight) complaint I have is that the orchestra seems just a bit too much in the background in the sonic perspective.

Warner provides very helpful and informative notes, and full texts and multilingual translations. As I write this, I am listening to this disc for the fourth time through—and I think I am falling in love. Perhaps with the music, perhaps the recording, certainly with Karita Mattila.

Henry Fogel, FANFARE
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Songs (5), Op. 38: no 1, Autumn evening by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903; Finland 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England (10/2001 - 11/2001) 
2.
Songs (5), Op. 37: no 3, Sunrise by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Finland 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England (10/2001 - 11/2001) 
3.
Songs (7), Op. 17: no 1, And I questioned them no further by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Finland 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
4.
Arioso, Op. 3 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911; Finland 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England (10/2003 - 11/2003) 
5.
Runeberg Songs (7), Op. 13: no 4, Spring is flying by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Finland 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England (10/2001 - 11/2001) 
6.
Luonnotar, Op. 70 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1910; Finland 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England (10/2003 - 11/2003) 
7.
Peer Gynt, Op. 23: no 18, Solvejg's Song by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874-1875; Norway 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: Norwegian 
Notes: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England (10/2003 - 11/2003) 
8.
Peer Gynt, Op. 23: no 20, Solvejg's song in the hut by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875/1892; Norway 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: Norwegian 
Notes: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England (10/2001 - 11/2001) 
9.
Romances (6), Op. 39: no 1, From Monte Pincio by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1870; Norway 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: Norwegian 
Notes: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England (10/2001 - 11/2001) 
10.
Songs (6), Op. 25: no 2, A swan by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Norway 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: Norwegian 
Notes: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England (10/2001 - 11/2001) 
11.
Melodies (12), Op. 33: no 2, Spring by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Norway 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: Norwegian 
Notes: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England (10/2001 - 11/2001) 
12.
Melodies (12), Op. 33: no 8, First thing by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Norway 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: Norwegian 
Notes: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England (10/2001 - 11/2001) 
13.
Maiden in the Tower: Sancta Maria by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Finland 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England (10/2001 - 11/2001) 
14.
Belshazzar's Feast, Op. 51: Song of a Jewish Maiden by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Karita Mattila (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
Notes: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England (10/2001 - 11/2001) 

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