Magazine article Gramophone

Mixed Student Choir Sing Ubiquitous and Rare Sibelius

Magazine article Gramophone

Mixed Student Choir Sing Ubiquitous and Rare Sibelius

Article excerpt

Sibelius

'Saarella palaa (Fire on the Island)' Rakastava. Four Songs, Op 18. Min rastas raataa. Isanmaalle. Italian Folksong Arrangements. Listen to the Water Mill. Ej med klagan. Man fran slatten och havet. On lapsonen syntynyt meille. Terve ruhtinatar. Nejden andas. Soi kunniaski Luojan. Contrapuntal Exercises. Three Introductory Antiphons. Finlandia-Hymn Dominante Choir/Seppo Murto BIS F BIS1889 (65' * DDD)

My favourite collection of Sibelius choruses is 'Songs for Male Voice Choir', peerless singing by YL (Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat--the Helsinki University Chorus--nla). Several songs recur on this BIS mixed choral newcomer: Rakastava, the sublime Finlandia Hymn, Isanmaalle ('To the Fatherland') and all six Op 18 Songs; Sibelius only arranged Nos 1, 3, 4 and 6 for mixed chorus. Monica Groop, a guest soloist here, also featured on BIS's previous recording of Rakastava for mixed chorus, part of a fine programme from the Jubilate Choir. The two discs are of such high quality that, with under a third duplicated, there is room for both on the shelves.

Where the newcomer scores is in a clutch of real rarities, the least of which--the five student Contrapuntal Exercises written in 1887-90-are fascinating (and also very taxing to sing). A 1913 group of recast sections from earlier choral works and three Introductory Antiphons for baritone, chorus and organ (1925) offer more recognisably Sibelian textures and are sung with great refinement, the last with veteran Jorma Hynninen. Later still is On lapsonen syntynyt meille ('A Child is born unto us', 1929), a subtle carol-like piece with metrical complexities that unsettle the flow deliciously. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.