pas de deux
Finnish RSO/Sakari Oramo (YLE/Elävä arkisto)
Highlights is our newsletter focusing on classical and contemporary music from the Nordic countries. You can download the most recent Highlights and find here in-depth material of music presented in it.
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Suomalainen Stabat Mater (Finnish Stabat Mater)
Violin Concerto No. 3
Kolme kirjettä Laestadiukselle -ooppera (Three Letters to Laestadius, opera)
Heikki Sarmanto: Impressions de Paris (Paris Impressions)
Finnish jazz composer Sarmanto wrote these lovely piano pieces while a resident at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. The friendship between Allain Leprest, the great French chansonnier, was also a source of inspiration to this unique series of piano works.
The view from Sarmanto's window in Paris inspired him: the roofs of the metropolis waking to spring, the riverboats sailing down the Seine, the hundreds of small cafes and blooming parks spread out before him were transformed by the composer's mind into musical meaning. Once a theme formed in his mind, Sarmanto would note it down as a score, sit down at the piano and start recording as he improvised variations and melodies of the theme. The result was 20 piano pieces dedicated to the city he so loved. Buy now
The CD is availabe at Digelius Music.
The church opera Elämänkuvat (Pictures of Life) by Olli Kortekangas was premiered at the Korsholm Music Festival on 1 August 2019 . The libretto is by Pia Perkiö and the opera was commissioned by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Lasting about one hour, the opera follows the stories of two characters side by side: a 16th-century Painter and present-day Mariia. The reviews were enthusiastic:
"Pictures of Life demonstrates that Kortekangas is one of our highest-ranking opera composers…The audience gave it a standing ovation. Seldom does one experience a work in which the pieces are so well in place. The music drew out both bubbling joy and resignation tinged with melancholy, along with mystical allusions to the other world. The vocal parts are skilfully written, Kortekangas being thoroughly familiar with the human voice. Yet the ninth part, an orchestral intermezzo, made the biggest impression. No way is it just a filler; it is possibly the finest music by Kortekangas I have ever heard." Helsingin Sanomat 3.8.
"Pictures of Life absolutely deserves more performances. There would undoubtedly be a sufficient audience and interest. Kortekangas demonstrated a vast knowledge of the music of centuries past, as proved not least by the tremendous intermezzo in the middle of the opera." Vasabladet 3.8.
"The libretto by Pia Perkiö lets the different time perspectives meet in an emotionally touching way... Kortekangas is a wily opera fox who knows what will work on stage. Also, the music keeps to a simple but striking dramatic medium, expressive recitatives and harmonies that occasionally open up to tonality." HBL 3.8.