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Toivo Kuula

Biography

Born: July 7, 1883; Alavus, Vaasa   Died: May 18, 1918; Viipuri, Russia  
Finnish composer Toivo Kuula was born in Alavus, Vaasa, Finland, on July 7, 1883. He showed talent early on but did not begin serious studies until 1900, when he enrolled at the Helsinki Music Institute. There he studied under Martin Wegelius but, owing to scarce finances, had to withdraw for three years. After his 1906 return, he began attracting attention with some of his early works, notably the song I gazed long into the fire and the Sonata Read more for Violin and Piano, both from 1907.

1908 was a pivotal year in the formation of Kuula's style and the rounding of his compositional skills: Jean Sibelius took him on as his first composition student. Sibelius' brother-in-law, Armas Järnefelt, was an early supporter of Kuula) and Kuula traveled abroad to study in Bologna with Marco Enrico Bossi. Further studies came in the succeeding years in Leipzig and Paris, as Kuula began turning out important works, such as The Song of the Seal, for chorus and orchestra (1909), and The Bath Maids, for soprano and orchestra (1910).

Beginning in 1910 Kuula served as conductor of the orchestra in Oulu for two seasons, then moved on to other conducting posts, first for the Helsinki Town Orchestra (1912-1916), then for the Native Orchestra, in Viipuri, 1916-1918. 1914 was another pivotal year in the composer's life: Kuula met and later married soprano Alma Silventoinen, who was the inspiration behind most of his 24 solo songs, and he also began work on his magnum opus, the Stabat Mater, for mixed chorus and orchestra.

The circumstances surrounding Kuula's death were tragic: in an apparently meaningless street fight in the wake of Finnish Civil War - meaningless, because Finland had just won it's independence - the composer was shot and killed by an inebriated soldier. The Stabat Mater was left incomplete at his death, but composer and friend Leevi Madetoja finished it. In the area of choral music and song, Kuula displayed extraordinary talent and must be regarded as one of the leading Finnish composers of his time. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 34 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Weihnachten Durch Die Jahrhunderte Ii
    Label: Ars Musici   Catalog: 233746 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Recorded Sound,  Anonymous,  Traditional,  Ludwig Senfl  ... 
    Performer:  Arndt Schmöle,  Torsten Gödde,  Michael Jackel,  Philipp Tarr  ... 
    Conductor:  Reinhard Kammler,  P. Johannes Berchmans Gos,  Raimund Hug,  Winfrid Toll  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fiori Musicali (Germany),  Spirit of Gambo,  Ecco la musica  ... 
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  • 2.
    Airs Chantes / Marjukka Tepponen, Ilmar Rakkonen
    Label: Louhi Productions   Catalog: 12002 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Toivo Kuula,  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Marjukka Tepponen,  Ilmari Raikkonen
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  • 3.
    Metsan Poika: On The Fields Of Tapiola
    Label: Alba   Catalog: 348 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toivo Kuula,  Kimmo Hakola
    Performer:  Jorma Hynninen
    Conductor:  Juha Kangas
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  • 4.
    Nostalgia: Lyrical Finnish Music For Strings
    Label: Alba   Catalog: 344 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Kajanus,  Jean Sibelius,  Erkki Melartin,  Aarre Merikanto  ... 
    Performer:  Reijo Tunkkari
    Conductor:  Juha Kangas
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  • 5.
    Label: Alba   Catalog: 329 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Toivo Kuula,  Armas Järnefelt,  Armas Maasalo  ... 
    Performer:  Terttu [Soprano Vocal] Iso-Oja,  Joose [Baritone Vocal] Vahasoyrinki,  Tuomas Katajala
    Conductor:  Heikki Liimola
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  • 6.
    Valossa: From Darkness To Light
    Label: Alba   Catalog: 47 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Juhani Komulainen,  Francis Poulenc,  Gustav Mahler,  Toivo Kuula  ... 
    Performer:  Olga [Soprano Vocal] Kuridda
    Conductor:  Dani Juris
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  • 7.
    I Will - Finish Wedding Music / Jan Lehtola
    Label: Alba   Catalog: 309 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Oskar Merikanto,  Toivo Kuula,  Erkki Melartin,  Unknown  ... 
    Performer:  Jan Lehtola
    On sale! $46.98
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  • 8.
    Toivo Kuula: Legends, Vol. 2 / Sakari, Lehtovaara, Ampuja, Turku Philharmonic
    Label: Alba   Catalog: 326 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toivo Kuula
    Conductor:  Timo Lehtovaara,  Petri Sakari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra,  Guards’ Brass Ensemble,  Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 9.
    Ugend - Art Nouveau /  Lehtola
    Label: Alba   Catalog: 327 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Frans Linnavuori,  Toivo Kuula,  Heikki Klemetti  ... 
    Performer:  Jan Lehtola
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  • 10.
    Anthology Of Finnish Piano Music 2
    Label: Fc Records   Catalog: 9713 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Oskar Merikanto,  Edith Sohlström,  Toivo Saarenpää,  Toivo Kuula  ... 
    Performer:  Jouni Somero
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  • 11.
    Kuula: Songs & Orchestral Music / Gritton, Brabbins, Bbc Concert Orchestra
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 7272 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toivo Kuula
    Performer:  Susan Gritton
    Conductor:  Martyn Brabbins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Concert Orchestra
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    CD: $21.99
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  • 12.
    Nordic Folksongs & Ballads
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 686 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Matti Borg,  Norwegian Traditional,  Sigvaldi S. Kaldalons  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nordic Trio
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 13.
    Cantus Sollemnis
    Label: Pilfink Records   Catalog: 51 Release Date: 04/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hildegard of Bingen,  Anonymous,  Luigi Cherubini,  Giuseppe Sarti  ... 
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  • 14.
    Great Singers And Musicians In Copenhagen, 1931-1939
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 691/96 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner,  Bedrich Smetana,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Anny Konetzni,  Lauritz Melchior,  Zedenka Zikova,  Viorica Tango  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Weisbach,  Nicolai Malko,  Bruno Walter,  Egisto Tango  ... 
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  • 15.
    Toivo Kuula - Legends / Segerstam, Nuoranne, Tampere Philharmonic
    Label: Alba   Catalog: 264 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toivo Kuula
    Performer:  Juha Uusitalo
    Conductor:  Timo Nuoranne,  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tampere Philharmonic Choir,  Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 16.
    Songs From The North
    Label: Phaedra   Catalog: 292004 Release Date: 09/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emil Sjögren,  Jean Sibelius,  Edvard Grieg,  Toivo Kuula  ... 
    Performer:  Hillevi Martinpelto,  Matti Hirvonen
    On sale! $20.98
    CD: $16.99
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  • 17.
    A Finnish Songbook / Matti Salminen
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1135 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Toivo Kuula,  Vilho Luolajan-Mikkola,  Martti Johannes Turunen  ... 
    Performer:  Matti Salminen
    Conductor:  John Storgårds
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 18.
    Finnish Sacred Songs
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 902 Release Date: 12/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mikael Nyberg,  Oskar Merikanto,  Toivo Kuula,  Elma Finne  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Choir
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 19.
    Usko, Toivo Ja Rakkaus / Hynninen, Ruuttunen, Tiilikainen
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 925 Release Date: 10/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toivo Kuula,  Ahti Sonninen,  Taneli Kuusisto,  Kari Tikka  ... 
    Performer:  Jorma Hynninen,  Sauli Tiilikainen,  Kari Jerkku,  Laura Ainali  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 20.
    Circle Of Compassion / Loomer,  Chor Leoni
    Label: Cypress (Canada)   Catalog: 0702 Release Date: 09/04/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Smith,  Franz Schubert,  Teiichi Okano,  Stephen Chatman  ... 
    Conductor:  Diane Loomer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chor Leoni
    On sale! $18.49
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  • 21.
    Kuula: Tule, Armaani, Etc / Hakala, Attila
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1087 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toivo Kuula
    Performer:  Tommi Hakala,  Kristian Attila
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    In Flanders Fields - A Celebration Of The Poets & Composers
    Label: Quartz Records   Catalog: 2038 Release Date: 05/09/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Toivo Kuula,  Charles Ives,  Anthony Payne,  Berthold Goldschmidt  ... 
    Performer:  Andrew Ball,  Fiona Kimm
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 23.
    North / Accentus, Eric Ericson
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5037 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Lars Johan Werle,  Jan Sandström,  Jorgen Jersild,  Knut Nystedt  ... 
    Conductor:  Eric Ericson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accentus
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  • 24.
    Camilla Nylund Sings Sibelius, Debussy, Britten & Kuula
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 94050 Release Date: 11/15/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Toivo Kuula,  Claude Debussy,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Camilla Nylund,  Marita Viitasalo
    CD: $12.99
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  • 25.
    Excellence - The Artistry Of Karita Mattila
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1054 Release Date: 09/21/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frederick Loewe,  Leonard Bernstein,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila,  Ilmo Ranta
    CD: $17.99
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