"... It would be hard to imagine anyone not responding to Melartin's healthy, optimistic writing in these symphonies ... The TPO plays these smphonies as if they were its bread and butter. Grin, a Ukranian-born protege of Leonard Bernstein, has been their artistic director since 1990, and he conducts them with charisma. Listeners responding positively to this disc (and I think many will) may want to check out its predecessor, Ondine ODE 799-2, which contains the composer's Fifth and Sixth Symphonies played by the same forces. Excellent sound. Most enthusiastically recommended."
--Raymond S. Tuttle,
Symphony No. 4, Summer SymphonyRead more (1912): This was the favorite with concert audiences in Melartin's own day, and perhaps still is the favorite with listeners. A gem-like the second movement, Scherzo (Vivace), tells why. Play this movement if you want to make someone a fan of Melartin. It is an exuberant distillation of at least one aspect of the northern summer, like sunlight made audible. To my mind the third movement adds an element of wistfulness (the northerners' consciousness that winter is coming?) before a soloist and then three female voices together enter the work.
Raihala's essay for Finnish Music Quarterly magazine says the "Summer Hymn" that helps anchor the symphony is actually a melody of Swedish origin, though familiar to all Finns. It helps make this symphony a beautiful product of National Romanticism. If you like the voices in the second movement of Carl Nielsen's Symphony No. 3, you'll love the singing in Melartin's No. 4, which seems to me similar in spirit. This may be one of his most visual works. At least the Finnish composer Leevi Madetoja, in his review of the Melartin Symphony No. 4, focused on the visual qualities of the music: "Seldom has the summer nature, its limpid, delicate landscapes, the hushed piety of the white summer night been described with such delightful and confident strokes of the brush."
Symphony no 2 in E minorby Erkki Melartin Conductor:
Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1904; Finland Date of Recording: 11/1993 Venue: Tampere Hall, Finland Length: 28 Minutes 5 Secs.
Symphony no 4 in E major, Op. 80 "Summer"by Erkki Melartin Performer:
Lilli Paasikivi (Mezzo Soprano),
Pia Freund (Soprano),
Laura Nykänen (Alto)
Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1913; Finland Date of Recording: 11/1993 Venue: Tampere Hall, Finland Length: 41 Minutes 33 Secs.
Featured Sound Samples
Symphony no 2: II. Andante
Symphony no 4: I. Allegro moderato
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Another find in Finnish musicApril 15, 2012By paul m. (Simpsonville, SC)See All My Reviews"These two symphonies flow and ebb with enthusiasm and feelings. Melartin is a master at making simple melodies become major forces of emotions. The addition of voices in the 4th symphony brings memories of Carl Nielsons 3rd symphony and adds an emotional overtone to this work. I highly recommend this disc to all lovers of Sibelius, Nielson and Atterberg."Report Abuse