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Elämäni lauluja: A Finnish Songbook

Audio Samples

>Merikanto, Oskar : Soi vienosti murheeni soitto (Play Softly, Thou Tune of My Mourning), song for voice & piano, Op. 36
>Merikanto, Oskar : Merellä (At Sea), song for voice & piano, Op. 47/4
>Merikanto, Oskar : Vallinkorvan laulu, Op 24/2
>Sibelius, Jean : Row, row duck (Souda, souda, sinisorsa), for voice & piano
>Sibelius, Jean : Driftwood (Lastu Lainehilla), song for voice & piano, Op. 17/7
>Sibelius, Jean : King Christian II, Op. 27
>Madetoja, Leevi : Yrtit tummat (Dark Hued Leaves), for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 9/1
>Madetoja, Leevi : Itkisit joskus illoin (If You'd Sometimes Weep at Evening), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
>Kilpinen, Yrjo : Kesäyö (Summer night), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
>Kilpinen, Yrjo : Vanha kirkko (The Old Church), for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 54/1
>Kilpinen, Yrjo : Rannalta I (On the Shore), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
>Turunen, Martti : Sunnuntai (Sunday)
>Luolajan-Mikkola, Vilho : Häätanhu (Wedding dance), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
>Kuula, Toivo : Tuijotin tulehen kauan (Long I Stared into the Fire), for voice & piano, Op. 2/2
>Kuula, Toivo : Kesäyö kirkkomaalla (Summer Night in the Churchyard), for voice & piano, Op. 6/1
>Kuula, Toivo : Yö (Night), for voice & piano, Op. 22/3
>Traditional, Finnish : Tällaaselle poijalle (For a Boy Like This), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
>Traditional, Finnish : Tuuli se taivutti koivun larvan (The Wind Bent Down), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
>Traditional, Finnish : Niin kauan minä tramppaan (I'll Walk Around This Here Village), for voice & piano (or orchestra)

Album Summary

>Merikanto, Oskar : Soi vienosti murheeni soitto (Play Softly, Thou Tune of My Mourning), song for voice & piano, Op. 36
>Merikanto, Oskar : Merellä (At Sea), song for voice & piano, Op. 47/4
>Merikanto, Oskar : Vallinkorvan laulu, Op 24/2
>Sibelius, Jean : Row, row duck (Souda, souda, sinisorsa), for voice & piano
>Sibelius, Jean : Driftwood (Lastu Lainehilla), song for voice & piano, Op. 17/7
>Sibelius, Jean : King Christian II, Op. 27
>Madetoja, Leevi : Yrtit tummat (Dark Hued Leaves), for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 9/1
>Madetoja, Leevi : Itkisit joskus illoin (If You'd Sometimes Weep at Evening), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
>Kilpinen, Yrjo : Kesäyö (Summer night), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
>Kilpinen, Yrjo : Vanha kirkko (The Old Church), for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 54/1
>Kilpinen, Yrjo : Rannalta I (On the Shore), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
>Turunen, Martti : Sunnuntai (Sunday)
>Luolajan-Mikkola, Vilho : Häätanhu (Wedding dance), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
>Kuula, Toivo : Tuijotin tulehen kauan (Long I Stared into the Fire), for voice & piano, Op. 2/2
>Kuula, Toivo : Kesäyö kirkkomaalla (Summer Night in the Churchyard), for voice & piano, Op. 6/1
>Kuula, Toivo : Yö (Night), for voice & piano, Op. 22/3
>Traditional, Finnish : Tällaaselle poijalle (For a Boy Like This), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
>Traditional, Finnish : Tuuli se taivutti koivun larvan (The Wind Bent Down), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
>Traditional, Finnish : Niin kauan minä tramppaan (I'll Walk Around This Here Village), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Matti Salminen is one of the leading bass singers of our time. The winner of two Grammys built his career on powerful performances of Wagner, Mozart and Mussorgsky roles at nearly every prominent opera house and concert hall in the world. On this new recording, Matti Salminen performs rarities outside the standard repertoire and delivers a personal account of orchestral songs from compatriot Finnish composers, including the great Jean Sibelius. Accompanied by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under its new chief conductor John Storgards, Salminen is completely at home singing this music.

Gramophone Magazine
One of the greatest operatic basses of his generation and beyond, Matti Salminen... is, in effect, simply a folksinger. As its cosy "Finnish Songbook" title suggests, his latest disc celebrates the naturalness of his art, and the predominantly slow and lugubrious sequence of songs here ranges from mini-masterpieces by Sibelius to traditional numbers.

Notes & Reviews:

Matti Salminen's recital includes a generous selection of late Romantic Finnish art songs and folk songs, with orchestral accompaniment. The songs, with just a few exceptions, have the darkness and passionate yearning often associated with Slavic traditions, and the theme of most is the bleak despair of lost love. Within that limited range, though, the composers find a variety of nuances to their expressions of grief and loss, and many of the songs are exceptionally lovely. The two by Leevi Madetoja, "Dark-hued leaves" and "Sometimes weeping in the evening," are especially elegant, with a more subtle and adventurous harmonic palette than most of the others, and with wonderfully delicate and evocative accompaniments. Sibelius' "The song of the Cross-spider," is also especially memorable. Salminen's earthy, dark, voluminous voice is ideal for this repertoire. He sings with the expressive range developed in his long operatic career, but he brings a rough-hewed abandon and passion to these songs by his countrymen. His formidable technique allows him to sing them with compete assurance, and his familiarity with them and affinity for them make his performance completely unmannered, just as is appropriate for music so close to its roots in folk traditions. The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, under John Storgårds, plays with warmth and deep understanding.

Most of these songs were originally written for voice and piano, and the album includes the work of a number of arrangers who skillfully honor the simplicity of originals while providing orchestrally sophisticated new versions. The sound is full, clean, and present. ~ Stephen Eddins



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Works Details

>Merikanto, Oskar : Soi vienosti murheeni soitto (Play Softly, Thou Tune of My Mourning), song for voice & piano, Op. 36
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 2 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Merikanto, Oskar : Merellä (At Sea), song for voice & piano, Op. 47/4
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 5 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Merikanto, Oskar : Vallinkorvan laulu, Op 24/2
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Sibelius, Jean : Row, row duck (Souda, souda, sinisorsa), for voice & piano
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 1 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1899

>Sibelius, Jean : Driftwood (Lastu Lainehilla), song for voice & piano, Op. 17/7
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 1 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1898

>Sibelius, Jean : King Christian II, Op. 27
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 4 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1898

>Madetoja, Leevi : Yrtit tummat (Dark Hued Leaves), for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 9/1
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Madetoja, Leevi : Itkisit joskus illoin (If You'd Sometimes Weep at Evening), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 2 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Kilpinen, Yrjo : Kesäyö (Summer night), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 2 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Kilpinen, Yrjo : Vanha kirkko (The Old Church), for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 54/1
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Kilpinen, Yrjo : Rannalta I (On the Shore), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Turunen, Martti : Sunnuntai (Sunday)
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: circa 1945

>Luolajan-Mikkola, Vilho : Häätanhu (Wedding dance), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 2 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Kuula, Toivo : Tuijotin tulehen kauan (Long I Stared into the Fire), for voice & piano, Op. 2/2
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 5 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Kuula, Toivo : Kesäyö kirkkomaalla (Summer Night in the Churchyard), for voice & piano, Op. 6/1
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Kuula, Toivo : Yö (Night), for voice & piano, Op. 22/3
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 2 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Traditional, Finnish : Tällaaselle poijalle (For a Boy Like This), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 1 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Post-Romantic

>Traditional, Finnish : Tuuli se taivutti koivun larvan (The Wind Bent Down), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 2 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Post-Romantic

>Traditional, Finnish : Niin kauan minä tramppaan (I'll Walk Around This Here Village), for voice & piano (or orchestra)
  • Performer: Matti Salminen (Bass)
  • Conductor: John Storgårds
  • Ensemble: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 1 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Post-Romantic