Sibelius’s music has, naturally, been a popular topic among Finnish music researchers. Three recent dissertations open new perspectives on the composer’s orchestral and vocal music. We let the new ‘Sibelius doctors’ elaborate on their research.
"It is a well-known fact that music was made and performed in great quantities in Finland during the 17th and 18th centuries. Nevertheless, Baroque music from Finland is today rarely performed or even talked about."
" The repertoire, which includes “Jealousy” by Jacob Gade, “Stella by Starlight” and two versions of "Finlandia", is executed masterfully. The musicians dig deep down into the grief of the Finnish soul, while still retaining some humour now and then."
"When a decision is reached to title a release this prophetically, you’d better deliver the goods in a novel way. Luckily, this proves to be the case here. For their sixth album, Von Hertzen Brothers find the fifth gear and pummel ahead with fresh vigour and stamina."
"He’s more pop than ever, bringing to mind especially Finnish singer-songwriters from past decades. But he has not forgotten who he is: a modern runo singer, a storyteller knowing well the musical tradition of his country and playing his bowed lyre, jouhikko, brilliantly."
"Pianist Kari Ikonen fuses fresh elements. On this second outing with bassist Ara Yaralyan and drummer Markku Ounaskari, not only Scandinavian and American sounds are heard. As the title reveals, this record has two distinctive sides: beautiful composed pieces and spontaneous collective takes."
"Satellite Stories have already gained notable international attention for some years. Their merits include sold-out clubs in London, tracks with millions of listens on Spotify, and their third album, Vagabonds, produced by internationally renowned producer Barny Barnicott, who has collaborated with Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian, among others."
"The microphones are going to take some time to catch up with the astonishing flood of Finnish instrumental concertos since the turn of the 21st century, so it’s good to be able to welcome the first recording of Jouni Kaipainen’s Trumpet Concerto, written in 2003 to a commission from the soloist here, Pasi Pirinen, to...
"Like moths to a flame, music lovers have flocked towards the work of Helsinki-based songwriter Manna ever since the mid-Noughties. Four releases down the road and the woman born in 1977 to a Finnish-Algerian family as Mariam Jäntti has yet to make two albums that are alike."
"In 2015, JPP is still alive and kicking, and playing with as high quality as ever. They don’t play too often, but when they do there is a nice relaxed touch, and they don’t take it all too seriously. "
"Saxophonist and composer Eero Koivistoinen is one of the best-known Finnish jazz musicians. For fifteen years he also has composed music for the Juvenalia Choir."
"The Émilie Suite is a half-hour condensation, to a 2011 commission, of Saariaho’s monologue opera Émilie of 2007–8, reduced to three vocal numbers separated by two orchestral interludes – a dramatic cantata in all but name, alternately formal and beguiling, intimate and angry, almost from gesture to gesture."