Armas Järnefelt is today principally known for two lovely miniatures: Preludi and Berceuse. Yet he was the composer of several extensive works who introduced a new, Wagnerian voice into Finnish music.
It all began when Ellen Urho, then Rector of the Sibelius Academy, hit on the idea of launching a musical counterpart to Form Function Finland and Books from Finland, devoted to design, architecture and literature...
" All nations have an indigenous construct of 'popular music' which is largely unknown abroad. "
For Aho, composing music is an inevitable way of contemplating existential questions and of taking responsability for what is happening in the world.
"Although I am not a string player myself, the string quartet is inextricably intertwined with my early musical life. Later on, my own string quartets, which appeared regularly at intervals of exactly 10 years, became milestones in my private and working life."
Sibelius's perception of Kalevala as 'pure music, theme and variations' led him into the discovery of a unique tone system totally different from that of Schoenberg's chromatic tonality.
BY Pekka Suutari There has been little research in Finland into Karelian culture on the Russian side of the border during the Soviet era. From the 1920s to the 1950s we get a fragmented picture on the whole of cultural policy in the Soviet Union. Ever the victim of ideological change, Karelian culture was sometimes...
Instead of struggling to defend the accordion, Mika Väyrynen is now raising its status by commissioning compositions.
BY Sami Hyrskylahti Before the great October Revolution in 1917, the cultural contacts between Helsinki and St. Petersburg were amazingly strong and lively. St. Petersburg was the political and, above all, cultural capital of the Russian Empire, to which Finland also belonged. Even in Europe as a whole St. Petersburg was one of the most...
The Russian-born composer Ernest Pingoud (b. St. Petersburg 14.10.1887 – d. Helsinki 1.6.1942) emigrated to Finland to escape the revolution in 1918 and spent most of his working life there. He became one of the champions of musical modernism in Finland at its height in the 1920s, together with Väinö Raitio and Aarre Merikanto.
"For many years I have been described as a cellist who specialises in contemporary music. This may be true, but I have yet to fully understand what is meant by 'specialising' and what is meant by 'contemporary'..."
"At present we cannot really yet say whether what we are being offered in the name of modern music is genuine gold or just brightly polished gold leaf illuminated by a trichromatic electric light, which hypnotically shines in our eyes", wrote Ernest Pingoud about Scriabin's music in 1911.