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Sibelius: Complete Works for Mixed Choir / Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir


Release Date: 03/10/2015 
Label:  Ondine   Catalog #: 1260  
Composer:  Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The 150th Anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius (1865–1957), often called “Finland’s national composer”, is to be celebrated in 2015. The fourth album on Ondine by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir is dedicated to the composer’s complete works for mixed choir. The award-winning choir, one of the finest of its kind internationally, is conducted here by leading Finnish choir director Heikki Seppa¨nen. Choral music was a genre in which Sibelius showed interest from his student days to the near close of his life. This double-disc set includes patriotic works, works closely connected to the Finnish national epic Kalevala, student works, Christmas songs, works based on Finnish poetry, works written for school (including Three Songs Read more for American Schools) as well as works written for academic promotions, inauguration ceremonies and different official occasions. It also includes two versions of the famous Finlandia Hymn. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir’s first Ondine release was given an ‘Editor’s Choice’ by the Gramophone Magazine and ‘Disc of the Year’ by German weekly Die Zeit.

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REVIEW:

The Finnish choral tradition was rich and active when Sibelius came of age as a composer in the late 1880s, and he wrote choral works all his life. The pieces on this rewarding recording range from folk songs suffused with Finnish character to enigmatic works with sometimes dark lyrics. There are festival and school songs, patriotic anthems, a cantata for an academic degree ceremony and, inevitably, two versions of “Finlandia.” Most of the pieces are a cappella. Many unfold in clear, block-chord settings of the texts. If you want to stump friends with a guessing game, play the beguiling, slightly strange “Glade of Tuoni” from this recording and ask them to identify the composer. You’ll win, as you will by picking up this album.

– New York Times Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Worker's march by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1896; Finland 
2.
Till Thérèse Hahl by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Finland 
3.
The way to school by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1925; Finland 
4.
The Thought by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1915; Finland 
5.
The Lofty Heaven, Op. 107 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1926/1927; Finland 
6.
The breaking of the ice on the River Uleå, Op. 30 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Finland 
7.
Songs (3) for American Schools by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1913 
8.
School Song by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1925; Finland 
9.
Rakastava, Op. 14 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
10.
Primary School Children's March by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Written: 1910 
11.
Partsongs (9), Op. 18: no 9, The journey by boat by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1907; Finland 
12.
Partsongs (9), Op. 18: no 8, Hail! moon by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1907; Finland 
13.
Partsongs (9), Op. 18: no 7, The broken voice by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1907; Finland 
14.
Partsongs (9), Op. 18: no 6, The song of my heart by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1907; Finland 
15.
Partsongs (9), Op. 18: no 5, The woodman's song by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1907; Finland 
16.
Partsongs (9), Op. 18: no 4, Busy as a thrush by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1907; Finland 
17.
Partsongs (9), Op. 18: no 3, Fire on the island by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1907; Finland 
18.
Partsongs (9), Op. 18: no 2, My brothers abroad by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893-1907; Finland 
19.
October 25th, 1902 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Finland 
20.
Not with lamentations "In memory Albert Edelfelt" by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Finland 
21.
Men from Land and Sea, Op. 65a by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Finland 
22.
In the morning mist by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Finland 
23.
Festive March by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894/1896; Finland 
24.
Dreams by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912; Finland 
25.
Carminalia by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Finland 
26.
Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1897, Op. 23: Wind, cosset our boat by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897/1899; Finland 
27.
Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1897, Op. 23: The journey continues by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897/1899; Finland 
28.
Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1897, Op. 23: Precious Finland by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897/1899; Finland 
29.
Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1897, Op. 23: O love you genial child of god by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897/1899; Finland 
30.
Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1897, Op. 23: Noble deeds and wisdom by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897/1899; Finland 
31.
Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1897, Op. 23: Many pitfalls await on life's road by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897/1899; Finland 
32.
Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1897, Op. 23: Like a surging stream by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897/1899; Finland 
33.
Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1897, Op. 23: Let our sweet song of thanks by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897/1899; Finland 
34.
Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1897, Op. 23: Hope, that state which consoles me by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897/1899; Finland 
35.
Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1897, Op. 23: Blow softer now, breeze by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897/1899; Finland 
36.
Cantata by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1911; Finland 
37.
Bell Tune of Kallio Church, Op. 65b by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912; Finland 
38.
Alone in the dark forest's clasp by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Finland 
39.
To the Fatherland, JS 98a by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
40.
Homesickness, JS 111 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
41.
So Faded Everything Is, JS 96 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
42.
When Spring is Born Again, JS 139 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
43.
Thought, See how the Bird Swoops, JS 191 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
44.
Ah! Listen, Miss Gyllenborg, JS 10 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
45.
Play Pretty Maiden, JS 176 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
46.
The Song of the Men of Uusimaa, JS 214a by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
47.
A Child is Born Unto Us, JS 142 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
48.
Christmas Songs (5), Op. 1: no 4, Give me no splendour, gold or pomp by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1895-1909; Finland 
49.
Christmas Songs (5), Op. 1: no 5, High are the snowdrifts by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Finland 
50.
Finlandia, Op. 26: Hymn by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1899-1900; Finland 
51.
Cantata for the Coronation of Nicholas II: Hail, O Princess by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Heikki Seppanen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 Simply Beautiful July 9, 2015 By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA) See All My Reviews "This two-CD set of Sibelius' mixed choir works encompasses the composer's entire career, ranging from student works of the 1880's to his final choral composition in 1947. The works are in a general chronolical order. The first disc focuses on works written between 1888 and 1902, while the second covers mainly 20th century compositions. Listening straight through, I could hear how Sibelius refined his harmonic structures and his melodies became more sharply defined. It was also illuminating to hear how Sibelius managed to create music of real depth within some very narrow confines. A good portion of the works, for example, were written for amateur choirs. And that usually means limited vocal range and modest rhythmic and harmonic complexity. While Sibelius kept the basic elements simple, he still used them in such a way as to create compelling music that is anything but run-of-the-mill. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir sings with a steely precision that suits this music. Even Sibelius' early works have a Finnish quality to them (I can't think of any other way to describe it). The choir's crystalline ensemble blend rings true with that inherent Finnish character." Report Abuse
 Easy listening. June 14, 2015 By Richard C. (LANCASTER, PA) See All My Reviews "I was not sure what to expect, knowing nothing of his choir music. I bought it for background music in my office. It is perfect for that." Report Abuse
 Honest, simple musical craft April 25, 2015 By Dean Frey See All My Reviews "This Sibelius year will perhaps prompt music lovers to look beyond the Violin Concerto, the 7 Symphonies and the major tone poems. Sibelius was in fact a fairly prolific composer, especially considering that in his last thirty years he wrote nearly nothing at all. His catalogue is full of everyday music: commissions for magazines, schools, festivals, hymnals, special ceremonies, and many miscellaneous occasions. There is no great inspiration embedded in most of the music for mixed choir, with a few exceptions, but every piece shows honest, simple musical craft. Conductor Heikki Seppanen brings out all the homespun virtues of the more modest pieces with his excellent Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, while a few outstanding works soar. These include the early song Rakastava, The Lover, from 1893 (arranged for mixed choir in 1898); two perfect Christmas Songs from his op. 1; and, of course, the great anthem Finlandia, two versions of which finish this splendid edition." Report Abuse
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