The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Christoffer Sundqvist, Ville Rusanen, Ralf Gothóni - Sibelius and the Kalevala (2024)
FLAC (tracks), Lossless | 3:42:42 | 891 Mb
It was during his study years in Vienna when Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) first read and discovered Finland’s national epic the Kalevala, compiled by Elias Lönnrot in 1835. Soon afterwards, Sibelius was celebrated in Finland for his Kullervo symphony, a breakthrough work based on one of the tragic stories from the Kalevala. Sibelius immersed himself with these ancient stories and just few years later wrote his Lemminkäinen Legends. Also his En Saga, although the composer both admitted and later denied its connections with the Kalevala, contains clear elements from Karelian folk music. It did not take long when Sibelius’ music became almost entirely associated with the national epic. To avoid this, the composer quickly distanced himself from the epic by giving more neutral titles to his works from the 1900s onwards. Still, the world of the Kalevala never totally left him: one of Sibelius’ most modern creations, his tone poem Luonnotar (1913) for soprano and orchestra, his Impressionistic The Oceanides (1914), as well as some of his final works, including his symphonic testament Tapiola from 1926, are looking back into the themes of the Kalevala. This digital album combines together some of Sibelius’ finest compositions inspired by the legends of the Kalevala.