Leevi Madetoja

Biography

Born: February 17, 1887; Oulu, Finland   Died: October 6, 1947; Helsinki, Finland  
In the generation that followed Jean Sibelius, the versatile Leevi Madetoja was easily among the most important Finnish composers. Like Sibelius, Madetoja composed symphonies that helped define his stature: indeed, his three are still his most recorded works, even if they remain well outside the standard repertory. His opera Pohjalaisia (The Ostrobothnians; 1923) has also received considerable attention, especially in his homeland, and his ballet Read more Okon Fuoko (1930) and many of his songs have rightly garnered acclaim as well. Madetoja employed folk melodies from Ostrobothnia (the region of Finland where he was born), and many of these divulge a modal or religious character in their somber and sometimes stern character. Madetoja wrote in an accessible, though often dark style and was a master of orchestration, known for clarity of textures and subtle instrumental color.

Leevi Madetoja was born in Oulu, Finland, on February 17, 1887. He was raised by his mother, owing to his father's premature death from tuberculosis. Musically, Madetoja did not develop quickly: his first advanced training came in the period 1906-1910 in Helsinki, when he studied at the university there and at the Music Institute, where his most important teacher was Sibelius.

Madetoja's 1909 Elegy, for string orchestra, was an instant success. Though he followed that with other acclaimed scores, including the incidental music for the play Chess Game (1910), he continued studies over the next two years in Paris with Vincent d'Indy and in both Vienna and Berlin with Robert Fuchs.

From 1912-1914 Madetoja served as conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Society Orchestra, and then led the Viipuri (Finland) Orchestra from 1914-1916. He remained active as a composer during these years, producing such works as his Stabat Mater (1915), for female chorus, strings, and organ.

In 1916 Madetoja joined the faculty at the Helsinki Music Institute and at the same time began writing music criticism for the popular daily newspaper Helsingin sanomat. In 1926 Madetoja composed what many consider his finest symphony, the Third (1926), a work that has often been compared with the Sibelius Third.

Madetoja retired from teaching in 1939, but remained active in his final years as a composer. The Fourth Symphony, supposedly complete in manuscript form, might well have further solidified Madetoja's reputation, but it vanished when the briefcase that held it was stolen in a French railway station. Madetoja died in Helsinki on October 6, 1947. Read less
Browse 1-19 of 19 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Madetoja: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3; Okon Fuko Suite / Storgards, Helsinki Philharmonic
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1211 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leevi Madetoja
    Conductor:  John Storgĺrds
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Madetoja: Symphony No 2, Kullervo, Elegy / Storgards, Helsinki Philharmonic
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1212 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leevi Madetoja
    Conductor:  John Storgĺrds
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Encore! / Jouni Somero
    Label: Fc Records   Catalog: 9745 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stanley Myers,  Claude Debussy,  Frédéric Chopin,  Giulio Caccini  ... 
    Performer:  Jouni Somero
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  • 4.
    Label: Alba Records   Catalog: 271 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leevi Madetoja
    Performer:  Tuomas Pursio,  Kaisa Ranta
    Conductor:  Hannu Norjanen
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  • 5.
    Essential Highlights Of Karita Mattila
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 252-2 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Antonín Dvorák,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila,  Ilmo Ranta
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6.
    Madetoja: Juha / Jalas, Hynninen, Lokka, Erkkila
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: ODE714 Release Date: 01/30/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Leevi Madetoja
    Performer:  Eero Erkkilä,  Anita Välkki,  Margareta Haverinen,  Tapani Valtasaari  ... 
    Conductor:  Jussi Jalas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Finnish Radio Youth Chorus
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  • 7.
    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 Storgĺrds
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Madetoja: Lieder Vol 1 / Gabriel Suovanen
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 996 Release Date: 01/07/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leevi Madetoja
    Performer:  Gustav Djupsjöbacka,  Gabriel Suovanen
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  • 9.
    Christmas Carols And Arias / Monica Groop
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 857 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustaf Nordqvist,  Otto Kotilainen,  Leevi Madetoja
    Performer:  Monica Groop
    Conductor:  Markus Lehtinen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Christmas In Ainola
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 966 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Leevi Madetoja
    Performer:  Raimo Sirkiä,  Jorma Hynninen,  Monica Groop
    Conductor:  Timo Lehtovaara,  Pertti Pekkanen,  Jorma Panula,  Markus Lehtinen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kampin Laulu,  Jyväskylä Sinfonia,  Tapiola Choir  ... 
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  • 11.
    Nordic Autumn - Sibelius, Palmgren, Madetoja / Nylund, Nylund
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777262 Release Date: 05/27/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ture Rangström,  Leevi Madetoja,  Selim Palmgren,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Camilla Nylund
    Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Jumalaa Kiittaa Sieluni - Hymns In Finnish / Isokoski, Et Al
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1070 Release Date: 01/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leevi Madetoja,  Sofie Lithenius,  Armas Maasalo,  H.W. Pöyhtäri  ... 
    Performer:  Soile Isokoski,  Marita Viitasalo
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  • 13.
    Cantus... Against The Dying Of The Light
    Label: Cantus Recordings   Catalog: 5637240527 Release Date: 02/24/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Claude Debussy,  Randall Thompson,  Leevi Madetoja  ... 
    Performer:  Brian Arreola,  Charles Kemper,  Adam Reinwald,  Alan Dunbar  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cantus
    CD: $23.99
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  • 14.
    Label: Alba Records   Catalog: 19 Release Date: 08/26/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sulo Salonen,  Aaron Copland,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Leevi Madetoja  ... 
    Performer:  Kalevi Kiviniemi,  Tiina Konttinen
    Conductor:  Heikki Liimola
    CD: $18.99
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  • 15.
    Karita's Christmas
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1010 Release Date: 11/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Abraham P. Schulz,  Traditional,  Hugh Martin,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila
    Conductor:  Pertti Pekkanen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cathedralis Aboensis Chorus
    CD: $17.99
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  • 16.
    Finnish Orchestral Favorites / Panula, Turku Po
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555773 Release Date: 05/15/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ilkka Kuusisto,  Uuno Klami,  Erkki Melartin,  Toivo Kuula  ... 
    Performer:  Reino Kotaviita,  Maarit Kirvessalo
    Conductor:  Jorma Panula,  Okko Kamu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra,  Finnish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Karita Mattila - Live In Helsinki
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 968 Release Date: 01/23/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 18.
    Madetoja: Complete Symphonies, Etc /Petri Sakari, Iceland So
    Label: Chandos Collect   Catalog: 6626 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Leevi Madetoja
    Conductor:  Petri Sakari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Iceland Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 19.
    Finnish Vocal Music / Hynninen, Valjakka, Gothoni
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 88 Release Date: 03/25/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Bergman,  Einojuhani Rautavaara,  Erkki Melartin,  Erkki Salmenhaara  ... 
    Performer:  Ralf Gothóni,  Jorma Hynninen,  Jorma Valjakka,  Taru Valjakka
    CD: $21.49
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