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Toivo Kuula: Songs and Orchestral Music
World Premiere Recordings (in these versions)
Recorded at Air Studios, Hampstead, London, 24-26 January 2011
This remarkable programme presents songs and orchestral music by Finnish composer Toivo Kuula (1883-1918), a pupil of Sibelius who died young. Best-known for his songs and choral music, Kuula’s arresting orchestral music draws heavily on folk legends and Ostrobothnian folksong and constitutes some of the most striking Finnish music of its time. Renowed soprano Susan Gritton and the BBC Concert Orchestra under the inspired baton of Martyn Brabbins give spellbinding accounts of this gloriously colourful repertoire.
Full song text in booklet (both original Finnish and an English translation)
“Susan Gritton's performance is operatically charged, and very effective, as is her involving account of the 12-minute song-story Impi Ja Pajarin Poika...[Hiidet Virvoja Viritti] has a dash of Rimsky-Korsakov about it. The symphonic legend Orjan Poika (Son of a Slave) is a more sombre composition, and is powerfully shared here by Martyn Brabbins.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2011 ****
“Gritton sings [the Two Songs Op. 31a] superbly well but the pick are the impressive and impressionistic 'The Sea-bathing Nymphs' (1909-10) and darkly dramatic 'The Maiden and the Son of a Boyar', sung with fervour and intensity. Lovers of Ravel and Bax will delight in these…An enthralling disc.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2012
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Tule, armaani - Come, My Love
A rare collection of 19 solo songs by Finnish composer Toivo Kuula: real hits in Finland and worth discovering for their tales of human passion.
Suutelo, Op. 8 No. 1
Lyö sydän (Beat, My Heart)
Yli kukkien (She Walks on Flowers)
Syystunnelma, Op. 2 No. 1
Aamulaulu, Op. 2 No. 3
Tuijotin tulehen kauan, Op. 2 No. 2
Yö - Night
Yö nummella, Op. 24 No. 4
Paimenet (The Herdsmen)
Lauantai-ilta, Op. 24 No. 1
Karjapihass (In the Cattleyard)
Kesäyö kirkkomaala, Op. 6 No. 1
Sinipiika, Op. 23 No. 1
Epilogi, Op. 6 No. 2
Jääkukkia, Op. 24 No. 2
Vanha syyslaulu, Op. 24 No. 3
Tule armaani, Op. 29a No. 1
Tommi Hakala (baritone), Kristian Attila (piano)
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