Sibelius: In the Stream of Life

Chandos: CHSA5178

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Sibelius: In the Stream of Life


Presto Disc of the Week

30th December 2016

Gramophone Awards 2017

Shortlisted - Solo Vocal



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Release date:

30th Dec 2016




78 minutes


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Sibelius: In the Stream of Life

Songs by Sibelius


Pohjola's Daughter, Op. 49

In the Stream of Life

Seven Songs orch. E. Rautavaara. Premiere recording

Koskenlaskijan morsiamet (The Rapids-Rider’s Brides), Op. 33

Romance in C major for strings, Op. 42

Hymn to Thaïs (Text: Arthur H. Borgström)

Demanten på marssnön, Op. 36 No. 6 (Wecksell)

Hertig Magnus, Op. 57 No. 6

The Oceanides, Op. 73

På verandan på vid havet, Op. 38 No. 2 (Viktor Runeberg)

I natten, Op. 38 No. 3

Kom nu hit, Död, Op. 60 No. 1 (Bertel Gripenberg after Shakespeare)


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Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

The exceptional collaboration and friendship between the late Einojuhani Rautavaara and the internationally acclaimed bass-baritone Gerald Finley culminates in this unique album of orchestral songs by Sibelius, on which the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Edward Gardner.

The album offers orchestrations, by Sibelius and others, of songs which Sibelius originally wrote for voice and piano, and includes the premiere recording of In the Stream of Life, seven songs orchestrated by Rautavaara for his friend. Throughout, the poetry perfectly reflects the instinctively felt relation between Finnish nature and Sibelius’s music.

As Finley reveals: ‘the recording of [In the Stream of Life] became a very personal project when the sessions took place only a few weeks after [Rautavaara’s] death, in the same week as his funeral... and I am so thankful that a final addition was made possible when in the last months of his life [Rautavaara] agreed to orchestrate “Hjärtats morgon” and include it in the group.’

Jean Sibelius: Pohjola's Daughter, Op. 49

Pohjola's Daughter, Op. 49

Jean Sibelius: In the Stream of Life (Arr. E. Rautavaara)

No. 1. Die stille Stadt (The Quiet Town), Op. 50, No. 5

No. 2. Jägargossen (The Young Sportsman), Op. 13, No. 7

No. 3. Hjärtats morgon (The Heart's Morning), Op. 13, No. 3

No. 4. Älven och snigeln (The River and the Snail), Op. 57, No. 1

No. 5. Näcken (The Elf King), Op. 57, No. 8

No. 6. Jag är ett träd (The Tree), Op. 57, No. 5

No. 7. Svarta rosor (Black Roses), Op. 36, No. 1

Jean Sibelius: Koskenlaskijan morsiamet (The Rapid-Rider's Brides), Op. 33 (version for voice and orchestra)

Koskenlaskijan morsiamet (The Rapid-Rider's Brides), Op. 33 (version for voice and orchestra)

Jean Sibelius: Romance in C Major, Op. 42

Romance in C Major, Op. 42

Jean Sibelius: Hymn to Thaïs, the Unforgettable, JS 97 (arr. J. Jalas for voice and orchestra)

Hymn to Thaïs, the Unforgettable, JS 97 (arr. J. Jalas for voice and orchestra)

Jean Sibelius: 6 Songs, Op. 36

6 Songs, Op. 36: No. 6. Demanten på marssnön (The Diamond on the March Snow) (arr. I. Hellman for voice and orchestra)

Jean Sibelius: 8 Songs, Op. 57

8 Songs, Op. 57: No. 6. Hertig Magnus (Baron Magnus) (arr. P. Helasvuo for voice and orchestra)

Jean Sibelius: The Oceanides, Op. 73

The Oceanides, Op. 73

Jean Sibelius: 5 Songs, Op. 38

No. 2. På verandan vid havet (On a balcony by the sea)

No. 3. I natten (In the Night)

Jean Sibelius: Twelfth Night, Op. 60

Twelfth Night, Op. 60: No. 1. Kom nu hit, död (Come Away, Death) (version for voice and orchestra)

Presto Classical

Katherine Cooper

30th December 2016

“Rautavaara's orchestrations are so convincingly Sibelian that on first hearing I completely forgot I wasn't listening to the The Real Thing...Finley is in magnificent voice throughout: though it's relatively uncommon to find non-Finnish singers tackling this repertoire, he seems completely at home with both the sound-world and the texts.”

The Guardian

4th January 2017


“Finley sings them all with his usual finesse and careful shading, reserving his full power for the few genuinely climactic moments...The subtle, respectful orchestrations wrap around his voice like a glove...Gardner and his orchestra include very fine performances of three orchestral works.”

Financial Times

January 2017

“The measured beauty of Gerald Finley’s singing in subdued songs conjures impressive wintry vistas”

Gramophone Magazine

February 2017

“An impressive if idiosyncratic programme”

Classical Ear

16th February 2017

“these new versions perfectly capture and amplify the spirit of Sibelius’s songs. Gerald Finley, a close friend of Rautavaara, makes an ideal case for the new settings, and his approach to the Swedish language of the texts is flowing and lyrical.”

Sunday Times

19th February 2017

“This haunting disc is as much a tribute to the Canadian singer’s close friendship with the late Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara as it is a declaration of love for Sibelius’s songs...Dark and brooding, they are a fitting memorial.”

MusicWeb International

3rd March 2017

“A disc of songs and orchestral works for all devotees of Sibelius.”

BBC Music Magazine

May 2017


“a highly memorable disc.”

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