OLLI KORTEKANGAS (b.1955): Migrations for Mezzo-Soprano, Male Choir and Orchestra, JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957): Kullervo for Soloists, Male Choir and Orchestra, Op. 7, Finlandia for Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 26.

Catalogue Number: 02S087

Label: BIS

Reference: 9048

Format: SACD hybrid

Price: $41.98

Description: Migrations was commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra and its Finnish conductor to commemorate the 'Great Migration' of Finns to the upper mid-west of the USA. The work was specified to be a companion piece to Sibelius' Kullervo, and is scored for almost exactly the same forces. The English texts, abounding in vivid visual imagery, are by Minnesota poet of Finnish descent, Sheila Packa. A cantata on a substantial scale, the work consists of four sung sections separated by orchestral interludes of an unsettled character, seeming to depict landscape, alienation and migration. The idiom is broadly tonal, with echoes of Kortekangas' teacher, Rautavaara, and some plainly deliberate extended Sibelian gestures. By way of a bonus, you get noted Sibelius authority Vänskä's powerful reading of Sibelius' towering, dark-hued and monumental (and even now oddly under-rated, at least by comparison with the numbered symphonies) choral symphony. 2 CDs. Finnish-English and English texts. Lilli Paasikivi (mezzo), Tommi Hakala (baritone), YL Male Voice Choir, Minnesota Orchestra; Osmo Vänskä.

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