Fennica Gehrman
Fennica Gehrman: composer Einojuhani Rautavaara

Latest publications, news and events

Rautavaara's TV opera staged

Rautavaara's TV opera Tietäjien lahja / The Gift of the Magi will be staged at the Sibelius Academy in November. Students of Sibelius Academy are conducted by Markus Lehtinen and Andres Kaljuste. The six performances are coupled with Humperdinck's opera Hansel and Gretel and they are scheduled on 26. November - 3. December.





Rautavaara’s Mine in Hungary - world premiere

Einojuhani Rautavaara’s opera The Mine (Kaivos) is in the repertoire of the Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest in October-November; the first of the four performances was scheduled for 21 October. The conductor is Tibor Bogányi and the soloists include Tommi Hakala, Adrienn Miksch and Sándor Balla. The opera is about the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and is one of the events commemorating this. It tells how a community revolts against dictatorship through the story of workers trapped underground when a mine collapses.

Einojuhani Rautavaara: Angel of Dusk

Angel of Dusk for double bass, two pianos and percussion is a chamber ensemble version of Rautavaara's double bass concerto dating from 1980/1993.
Chamber ensemble version, parts (solo, 2pf, perc):
55011-264-3, € 86,90 Buy now
Solo part and piano reduction:
55011-265-0, € 42,10 Buy now
Chamber ensemble version, score:
55009-324-9 (new, revised edition),
€ 36,40 Buy now

Einojuhani Rautavaara: Aleksanteri Könni & Piru ja juomari / The Devil and The Drunkard

for piano
Two pieces inspired by an old collection of folk tunes and its polska melodies. A sister work to Rautavaara's suite The Fiddlers. The Devil and the Drunkard is unusual in that it has words, maybe for the player to recite during the performance.
55009-943-2, € 11,80 Buy now

Einojuhani Rautavaara: Adagio celeste

for string orchesta
Einojuhani Rautavaara composed this string orchestra work inspired by a sensual poem by Lassi Nummi written in 1982. The music is built on a twelve-tone row and it weaves a sonorous string texture.
Score and set of parts (33221)
55011-251-3, € 48,00 Buy now

Einojuhani Rautavaara

The Temptations / Kiusaukset
Allegorical ballet in one act
Piano reduction (first publication)
55011-246-9, € 31,30 Buy now

Ballad for Harp and Strings
string orchestra parts: 33221
55011-244-5, € 48,00 Buy now

Einojuhani Rautavaara: I min älsklings trädgård / In My Lover’s Garden

for female choir (SSAA)
A suite of three choral songs to texts by Edith Södergran, English translation by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi (Swe/Eng)
1. In the Great Wide Woodlands (I de stora skogarna)
2. In between Grey Stones (Mellan gråa stenar)
3. Lucky Cat (Lyckokatt)
55011-222-3, € 10,40 Buy now

Audio samples

 Violin Concerto (II Energico)
BIS CD 1315 Lahti Symphony Orchestra, cond. Osmo Vänskä, sol. Jaakko Kuusisto
(BIS Records CD-1315)

 Symphony No. 1 (I Andante)
National Orchestra of Belgium, cond. Mikko Franck
(Ondine Records CD-1064-5)

 Symphony 7 Angel of Light (I Tranquillo)
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Leif Segerstam
(Ondine Records CD- 869-2)

 Cantus arcticus, Concerto for Birds and Orchestra (I The Bog)
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Leif Segerstam
(Ondine Records CD-1041-2)

 All-Night Vigil (Vigilia) (Final Blessing)
Finnish Radio Chamber Choir, cond. Timo Nuoranne
(Ondine Records CD-910-2)

Einojuhani Rautavaara

Einojuhani Rautavaara (9 October 1928 - 27 July 2016) was internationally one of the best known and most frequently performed Finnish composers. He was by nature a romantic, even a mystic, as is often apparent from the titles of his works: for example Angels and Visitations for orchestra or his double-bass concerto Angel of Dusk. Despite Rautavaara’s label of “mysticism” he was a complex and contradictory figure whose works cannot be categorized in stylistic terms. 

At the age of seventeen Rautavaara began studying the piano and later went on to study musicology at Helsinki University and composition at the Sibelius Academy. From 1951-53 he was a pupil of Aarre Merikanto receiving his diploma in composition in 1957. In 1955 the Koussewitzky Foundation awarded Jean Sibelius a scholarship in honour of his 90th birthday to enable a young Finnish composer of his choice to study in the United States. Sibelius selected Rautavaara who spent two years studying with Vincent Persichetti at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and also took part in the summer courses at Tanglewood given by Roger Sessions and Aaron Copland. In 1957 Rautavaara continued his studies with Wladimir Vogel in Ascona, Switzerland and a year later with Rudolf Petzold in Cologne. Rautavaara has taught and lectured at the Sibelius Academy as the professor of composition. Since 1988 he made his living as a composer in Helsinki. 

Rautavaara’s earliest works revealed close ties to tradition but also his desire to renew it. They were followed by an extreme constructivist and avant-garde phase (as in the serially organized fourth symphony “Arabescata”, 1962) after which Rautavaara turned to hyper-romanticism and finally mysticism. Since the early 1980s Rautavaara has adopted a sort of post-modern musical language in which modern and traditional elements of varying degrees of constructivism or freedom are combined with one another. 

Rautavaara composed eight symphonies, the most frequently performed of them being the Angel of Light, his seventh symphony. Symphony No. 8 “The Journey” was premiered in April 2000 by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Wolfgang Sawallisch. Other important groups of works include concertos for different solo instruments, among them the three piano concertos, the popular Violin Concerto (1977), the Harp Concerto (2000) and the Clarinet Concerto (2001-02). Rautavaara has also written a large body of chamber music as well as choral and vocal works including All-Night Vigil for a cappella chorus. One of Rautavaara’s most popular works is Cantus arcticus, concerto for birds and orchestra, in which the straightforward orchestral part is juxtaposed with the sounds of birds recorded by the composer himself. Rautavaara’s late orchestral works include Tapestry of LifeIncantations (Concerto for Percussion Solo and Orchestra) and Towards the Horizon (Concerto No. 2 for Cello and Orchestra). 

Apart from his symphonies the central pillars of Rautavaara's extensive oeuvre are his operas. With Vincent (1985-87) and The House of the Sun (1990) Rautavaara scored a notable international success. Aleksis Kivi was premiered at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in 1997 and it has been performed in Cosenza, Italy and Minneapolis, U.S.A since then. Rautavaara's last stage work is Rasputin (2001-2003), an opera about the life of mystic and healer Grigory Rasputin.

2011 © Fennica Gehrman, PO Box 158, FI-00121 Helsinki, Finland, info@fennicagehrman.fi

Website Lieska-Tuotanto