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Järnefelt composed his Festouverture (Festive Overture) for the official opening of the Finnish National Theatre in 1902. The overture is firmly anchored on a jubilant D major and observes the traditional sonata-form scheme. Fennica Gehrman commissioned a band transcription from professor Robert J. Ambrose as soon as the symphony version score was engraved in 2019.
Score & parts 55011-580-4, € 120,00 Buy now

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Armas Järnefelt (1869–1958) composed his Festouverture (Festive Overture) for the official opening of the Finnish National Theatre on 9 April 1902. This was a great event in the history of Finnish theatre, for it meant that the Finnish Theatre founded by Kaarlo and Emilie Bergbom in 1872 at last had a home of its own. The 8- minute overture is a jubilant example of Järnefelt’s orchestral writing, through which he introduced a new, Wagnerian voice into Finnish music.
Score 55011-539-2, € 21,20 Buy now

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The most beloved tune by Armas Järnefelt (Jean Sibelius' brother-in-law) was written in 1904 for violin and piano. It is now available in two new versions:
for piano trio (composer’s arrangement for violin, violoncello and piano
based on a radio recording from 1948) 55011-520-0, € 7,40 Buy now
for saxophone (Josef Kaartinen’s transcription for soprano, alto, tenor or baritone). 55011-519-4, € 7,40 Buy now

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Järnefelt's first composition for stage was music for Topelius's play Miranda (1901). It is a melodrama, 30 minutes in duration, with recitation and choral parts. The story is a fairytale of young Miranda in search for love, surrounded by kings and suitors arond the world. The music includes elegantly swinging waltzes and Oriental colours. Orchestral parts are available for hire. Study score: 55011-468-5, € 21,20 Buy now

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Armas Järnefelt


Armas Järnefelt (1869-1958) was a composer and conductor. He studied under Martin Wegelius and Ferruccio Busoni in Helsinki in 1887–90, with Albert Becker in Berlin in 1890 and with Jules Massenet in Paris in 1893–04. After minor conducting posts in Germany he became conductor of the Viipuri Municipal Orchestra. Following guest engagements at the Helsinki and Stockholm opera houses and a year as director of the Helsinki Music Institute in 1906–07, he settled in Stockholm as conductor of the Royal Opera. In 1910, on his additional appointment as court conductor, he took Swedish nationality. In 1923 he became the Royal Opera’s principal conductor.

Armas Järnefelt returned to Finland as director of the Finnish National Opera, and later became conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra (1942–43). He was an authoritative interpreter of Sibelius, whose wife, Aino Sibelius, was Järnefelt’s sister.

His own works are Romantic in style, often with a national or patriotic basis. They include the short but charming Berceuse and Praeludium, both for small orchestra, which became exceedingly popular for a time. He has also composed vocal music.

Other orchestral works include his symphonic poem Korsholm (1984), Suite for Small Orchestra (1895), Suite in E Flat Major (1897) and Symphonic Fantasy (1895).

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