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More fine Finnish orchestral works


A personal selection -
excluding Sibelius works

Among Finnish composers Sibelius is in a class of his own and his major works - seven symphonies, violin concerto and symphonic poems - would fill up both the top ten and the next ten list of Finnish orchestral music. So this list of my favourites is dedicated to other Finnish composers and their fine compositions, which in my view also deserve international attention and recognition.
 
Arto Sakari Korpinen

Top ten in alphabetical order


Paavo Heininen:
Petite symphonie joyeuse
(Symphony no. 2)
 
I   Allegro
II  Allegretto
III Andante
IV  Allegro

Opus 9, composed 1962.

  • Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
    Ulf Söderblom

    (+ Heininen: Piano Concerto no. 2, Arioso)

    Finlandia Records FACD 373

Paavo Heininen and his works in a nutshell.

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Uuno Klami:
Lemminkäinen's Island Adventures

Composed 1934.

Lemminkäinen is one of the heroes in Kalevala, the Finnish national epic.

When the first version of the Kalevala Suite was premièred in 1933, Klami was not satisfied with its overall shape. And when Armas Järnefelt, who conducted the performance, thought that the suite lacked a scherzo movement, Klami decided to compose one. Unfortunatelly the result exacerbated the suites formal problems: now the egg was bigger than the chicken, as Järnefelt put it. So Klami finally removed Lemminkäinen's Island Adventures from the suite and made it an independent symphonic poem

  • Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    Osmo Vänskä

    (+ Klami: Suites 1 and 2 from the ballet Whirls, Song of Lake Kuujärvi)

    Bis CD-485

Uuno Klami and his works in a nutshell.

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Joonas Kokkonen:
Cello Concerto
 
I   Moderato mosso - Allegro - Cadenza - Allegro vivace
II  Allegretto
III Adagio
IV  Cadenza (Adagio, legatissimo possibile)
V   Allegro vivace

Composed 1969.

  • Torleif Thedéen, cello
    Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    Osmo Vänskä

    (+ Kokkonen: Symphony no. 4, Symphonic Sketches)

    Bis CD-485

Joonas Kokkonen and his works in a nutshell.

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Joonas Kokkonen:
Interludes from the opera
The Last Temptations
 
I   Moderato
II  Allegretto
III Allegro
IV  Andante

Composed 1970.

  • Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    Osmo Vänskä

    (+ Kokkonen: Inauguratio, Symphony no. 2, Erekhtheion

    Bis CD-498

Joonas Kokkonen and his works in a nutshell.

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Aulis Sallinen:
Shadows
(Prelude for Orchestra)

Opus 52, composed 1982.

Was composed immediately after the completion of the second act of Sallinen's opera The King Goes Forth to France and material has links with the third act of the opera. Still Shadows is an independent work, which only reflects the content of the opera - war and a march on Paris, the city of eternal hope, in the times of a new ice age.

  • Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
    Okko Kamu

    (+ Sallinen: Symphony no. 4, Cello Concerto)

    Finlandia Records FACD 346

Aulis Sallinen and his works in a nutshell.

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Aulis Sallinen:
Symphony no. 3
 
I   Il tempo energico e sostenuto
II  Chaconne
III Vivace/giocoso. Finale

Composed 1974-75.

  • Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Okko Kamu

    (+ Symphony no. 1, Chorali, Cadenze, Elegy for Sebastian Knight, String Quartet no. 3)

    Bis CD-41

Aulis Sallinen and his works in a nutshell.

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