1 22 MAY FRIDAY SERIES 14 Helsinki Music Centre at 19 AULIS SALLINEN 80 YEARS Hannu Lintu, conductor Johanna Rusanen-Kartano, soprano Ville Rusanen, baritone Helsinki Music Centre Choir, coach Tapani Länsiö Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No min I Adagio molto Allegro con brio II Andante cantabile con moto III Minuet (Allegro molto e vivace) Trio IV Adagio Allegro molto e vivace INTERVAL 20 min Aulis Sallinen: Songs of Life and Death, Op min 1. Kuin tulvavesi elämäni päivät (Like floodwaters the days of my life) 2. Me vaellamme täällä (We wander here) 3. Minä, syntymätön (I, unborn) 4. Tuba mirum 5. Voin ajatella sinun lähteneen (I can think you departed) 6. Dies irae 7. Kun vielä olet tällä rannalla (While you are still on this shore) 8. Elää täyttä elämää (Live a full life) 1
2 The LATE-NIGHT CHAMBER-MUSIC will follow in the Concert Hall after an interval of about 10 minutes. Those attending are asked to take (unnumbered) seats in the stalls. Jouko Laivuori, piano Jorma Valjakka, oboe Christoffer Sundqvist, clarinet Otto Virtanen, bassoon József Hárs, French horn W. A. Mozart: Quintet for piano and winds KV min I Largo Allegro moderato II Larghetto III Rondo (Allegretto) Interval at about The concert ends at about The late-night chamber music ends at about Broadcast live on Yle Teema, Yle Radio 1 and online at yle.fi/rso. 2
3 LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN ( ): SYMPHONY NO. 1 Symphony No. 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven was first heard in 1800, at the same concert in Vienna as his first piano concerto, and it represented a new lease of life for the Classical tradition. Beethoven had been making sketches for it in 1795 already, and it is interesting to note that material he initially planned for the opening movement finally ended up in the last. Outwardly, it has borrowed from Haydn and Mozart, but it also sets a course of its own in many ways. The slow movement, for example, is more dynamic than in earlier times, and the Minuet looks ahead to the energetic character piece of the future. The introduction to the first movement begins in the misleading key of F major, with string pizzicatos that lead the orchestra to a massive chord that launches a sweet, singing melody. A dramatic bridge passage leads to the main section in the home key of C major, the very first bars of which leave the listener in no doubt that it is the work of a fully-fledged symphonist. The energy flows unbridled, and the music abounds in contrasts in the development section, the main theme being hammered home all the more forcibly in the final recapitulation. The slow movement is not just a traditional respite. Beethoven really gets his main theme moving, cheerfully wending his way through neat variations. The mighty build-ups are offset by shifting minor-key passages and mysterious pianissimos with raps from the timpani. Little remains in the Minuet of the graceful court dance of that name, for this Minuet is a galloping scherzo indulging in sharp rhythms and blackand-white forte/piano effects in the outer sections and balmy nature visions in the middle Trio. The finale again begins with a slow introduction. After a chord that seems to spring from nowhere, the strings try to pick out a melody and latch onto it at last as the zippy main section gets under way. AULIS SALLINEN (1935 ): SONGS OF LIFE AND DEATH Aulis Sallinen began his musical career with lessons on the violin, but soon changed to the piano. His parents were living in Uusikaupunki, having been forced to leave their home in Karelia during the Second World War. By the time he embarked on his formal composition studies with Aarre Merikanto in 1955, he had already made his first attempt at composition six years earlier. He then went on to study with Joonas Kokkonen and gained his diploma in composition in The Songs of Life and Death were conceived on Sallinen s island off the southern coast of Finland and born at the seaside village of Les Lecques in Provence. The texts are all by Lassi Nummi ( ), some adaptations of the poems from the Requiem (1988) by Leonid 3
4 Bashmakov and others taken from elsewhere. Nummi s text gives the cycle a strongly humanist slant. The soloist at the premiere and on the disc (Ondine) was Jorma Hynninen, but for today s performance by the FRSO Sallinen has divided the solo parts between a soprano and a baritone. The death in Sallinen s songs is a personal one, but the ceremonial tradition of the Requiem carries reminders of its collective aspect. The celesta and percussions in the early songs bear echoes of the sacred tones in Sallinen s opera The Horseman. Rising from the valley of the shadow of death is the plea Dona nobis pacem (Grant us peace), and the message of peace is indeed a frail yet persistent motif running right through the cycle. Two of the songs are named according to the Latin Requiem. The brass instruments heralding the last judgment (Tuba mirum) are a reminder of our sins and our humility as we confess them. The Dies irae, dashing along in the manner of a scherzo, presents man as the servant of death, the instigator of wars and environmental disasters. To this timeless and regrettably universal aspect of death Sallinen adds a personal, individual dimension. The beauty of the music helps us to understand that which is difficult to accept. Examples of this are the innocence of the unborn floating in the cosmic sea (song 3) and the departure of a dearone mirrored against rebirth in spring (song 5). These poetic visions are reflected in the intimacy of the music and the differentiation between the vocal and instrumental solos. While you are still on this shore is a leave-taking that does nothing to relieve the pain of parting. The vocal soloist and chorus proclaim The greatest of these is love, the chorus finally putting the seal on this in liturgical strains. Grief is still present in the closing song (Live a full life), but from surmise grows knowledge, as crystallised in the final C-sharp major chord. Programme notes by Antti Häyrynen translated (abridged) by Susan Sinisalo HANNU LINTU Hannu Lintu took over as Chief Conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in August Formerly Artistic Director of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, he has also been Principal Guest Conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin. He works regularly with the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra and was Artistic Director of its Summer Sounds festival in In addition to conducting the leading Finnish orchestras, Maestro Lintu has made guest appearances with the Radio Orchestras in Berlin, Paris, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Amsterdam and Madrid, with a number of orchestras in North and South America (such as the Cleveland, Toronto, Houston, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl), 4
5 in Asia (Seoul, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong) and Australia (the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras and others). During the 2012/2013 season he made his debut with such orchestras as the London Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony, and this season he takes up re-invitations to conduct the Stockholm and Gothenburg Symphonies, the Deutsches Symphonie- Orchester Berlin (DSO), the Toronto Symphony and other orchestras. Hannu Lintu studied the piano and cello first at the Turku Conservatory in his native Finland and later the Sibelius Academy, where he also attended the conducting class taught by Jorma Panula, Atso Almila, Eri Klas and Ilja Musin. He has further been tutored by, among others, Myung Whun Chung at the Music Academy Siena. In 1994 he was the winner of the Nordic Conducting Competition. Discs by Hannu Lintu have been released on the Ondine, Alba, Naxos, Ricordi, Claves, Hyperion and Danacord labels. Many of the discs featuring him as the conductor have won awards both at home and abroad, and his premiere recording of the opera The Mine by Einojuhani Rautavaara was nominated for a Grammy. JOHANNA RUSANEN-KARTANO Johanna Rusanen-Kartano entered the Sibelius Academy in 1991 to study with Matti Tuloisela and Anita Välkki. She also studied privately in Berlin with Herbert Brauer and Karan Armstrong, and in Vienna with Irina Gavrilovici. Winner of the Timo Mustakallio Competition in 1995, she went on to take the first prize in the Lappeenranta Singing Competition the following year, was awarded the Martti Talvela Prize in 1997 and the Karita Mattila Prize in Since making her operatic debut in Kuopio in 1994, Johanna Rusanen- Kartano has sung at, for example, the Savonlinna Opera Festival, the Finnish National Opera and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, in such roles as Marie in Wozzeck, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Marguerite in Faust, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Ortlinde in Die Walküre, Mimi in La bohème, Amelia in A Masked Ball, Anna in The Horseman and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. In spring 2012 she made her Tampere Opera debut as Venus in Wagner s Tannhäuser. Johanna Rusanen-Kartano has also had numerous engagements in concert and oratorio repertoire, and has held Lieder recitals at such prestigious venues as the Wigmore Hall in London, in many European countries and in Japan, Chile, the USA and North Korea. Sibelius s Kullervo Symphony has been in Johanna Rusanen-Kartano s repertoire since 1996, when she recorded it for Naxos with the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra under Jorma Panula. She has sung Kullervo the world over in Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Budapest, Madrid, Liège, Tokyo, and most recently at the Chicago Grant Park Music Festival in July
6 VILLE RUSANEN Ville Rusanen, brother to Johanna Rusanen-Kartano, also studied at the Sibelius Academy, with Pertti Rusanen, Jorma Hynninen and Päivi Nisula. He took the first prize for men in the 2004 Lappeenranta Singing Competition and with pianist Ilmari Räikkönen the prize for Lied duo in the Erkki Melartin Chamber Music Competition in In recent years Ville Rusanen has sung at La Scala, the Opéra de Lyon in France, the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, Scottish Opera, and the Nationale Reisoper in the Netherlands. In spring 2013 he made his debut as the soloist with the Sydney Philharmonia under Vladimir Ashkenazy. Other major engagements have included solo appearances at the BBC Proms in London, the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago, with the Orchestre National Bordeaux in France, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège in Belgium and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in Ireland. Ville Rusanen has been a frequent guest at the Finnish National Opera, where his roles have included Pelléas in Debussy s Pelléas et Mélisande, Figaro in Rossini s The Barber of Seville, Papageno in Mozart s The Magic Flute, Guglielmo in Mozart s Così fan tutte, Jussi in Madetoja s The Ostrobothnians, the young Aleksis in Rautavaara s Aleksis Kivi and the title role in Linkola s Robin Hood. In summer 2014 he sang Kimmo in the Savonlinna Opera Festival production of Aulis Sallinen s Kullervo and was the Festival s Artist of the Year. He has a solo contract with the Finnish National Opera for the period THE HELSINKI MUSIC CENTRE CHOIR Founded in autumn 2011, the Helsinki Music Centre Choir of about 80 singers can, as required, regroup as a male, female or chamber choir. It works in close partnership with the main Helsinki Music Centre occupants: the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sibelius Academy. Its Artistic Director has from the very beginning been composer Tapani Länsiö. The HMCC repertoire, planned jointly by the main Helsinki Music Centre occupants, consists mainly of symphonic choral and orchestral works and unaccompanied music for large choir, not forgetting contemporary music. Each year the Choir gives a concert of unaccompanied hymns on the evening of All Saints Day. The Choir appears in concert from eight to ten times a year, mainly at the Helsinki Music Centre but also at other venues, such as the Organ Night and Aria festival in Espoo. The members of the choir are amateurs with a passion for singing. 6
7 THE FINNISH RADIO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (FRSO) is the orchestra of the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle). Its mission is to produce and promote Finnish musical culture and its Chief Conductor as of autumn 2013 is Hannu Lintu. The FRSO has two Honorary Conductors: Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Sakari Oramo. The Radio Orchestra of ten players founded in 1927 grew to symphony orchestra strength in the 1960s. Hannu Lintu was preceded as Chief Conductor by Toivo Haapanen, Nils-Eric Fougstedt, Paavo Berglund, Okko Kamu, Leif Segerstam, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and most recently Sakari Oramo. In addition to the great Classical- Romantic masterpieces, the latest contemporary music is a major item in the repertoire of the FRSO, which each year premieres a number of Yle commissions. Another of the orchestra s tasks is to record all Finnish orchestral music for the Yle archive. During the 2014/2015 season it will premiere four Finnish works commissioned by Yle. The programme will also include colourful orchestral poems by Richard Strauss, symphonies by Shostakovich and Haydn s great The Creation. The orchestra s distinguished guests will include conductors Leonard Slatkin, Kent Nagano, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa- Pekka Salonen, soprano Karita Mattila, violist Tabea Zimmermann and pianist Olli Mustonen. The FRSO has recorded works by Ligeti, Eötvös, Nielsen, Hakola, Lindberg, Saariaho, Sallinen, Kaipainen, Kokkonen and others, and the debut disc of the opera Aslak Hetta by Armas Launis. Its discs have reaped some prestigious distinctions, such as the BBC Music Magazine Award and the Académie Charles Cros Award. The disc of the Sibelius and Lindberg violin concertos was Gramophone magazine s Editor s Choice in February The FRSO regularly tours to all parts of the world. One of the many highlights of the 2013/2014 season was a criticallyacclaimed concert conducted by Hannu Lintu at the Vienna Musikverein during a tour of Central Europe. During the 2014/2015 season the orchestra, under the baton of Hannu Lintu, will appear in Stockholm and tour Finland. It will also visit the EBU Festival in Bucharest with Joshua Weilerstein as its conductor. The home channel of the FRSO is Yle Radio 1, which broadcasts all its concerts, usually live, both in Finland and abroad. Its concerts can also be heard and watched with excellent live stream quality on the FRSO website (yle.fi/rso), and the majority of them are televised live on the Yle Teema channel. 7
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