Thanks to Ilona's performance of 'Consolation' by Taneli Kuusisto and a search, I found a new resource for Finnish Composers and their works. 'Music Finland' even has sheet music and audio samples!
We've talked about some Other Finnish Composers in another Nordic thread - I'll try to make note of them here.
Any other Finnish Composers you'd like to talk about?
← "Cello Cat and Happy Bluebird", by Pepe Shimada (sorry, not related to Finland).
In the first few pages of that big list, the names that jump out at me as internationally recognized composers (other than Sibelius who is easily the most famous) are Rautavaara, Aho, Saariaho, and Melartin. Of those, Melartin was early 20th century, the rest are recent. Rautavaara was one of the real giants of the late 20th century.
Segerstam and Salonen seem to be more famous as conductors; I saw Salonen conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic many times when I lived in LA, and he's the new music director of the San Francisco Symphony so I'll probably see a lot more of him in the near future.
One I didn't see, and probably the best-known Finnish composer prior to Sibelius, is Bernhard Crusell. Crusell was one of the leading clarinetists of his day and most of his compositions feature the clarinet; he is still a favorite of clarinetists. I played one of his clarinet quartets (clarinet, violin, viola, cello) at a chamber music workshop in 2019. Here's a performance of the same quartet on YouTube:
One obscure Finnish composer I'd like to hear more from is Ida Moberg, who was a student of Sibelius and seems to have been the second-most-popular Finnish composer after Sibelius for a decade or two. Her violin concerto, which for some reason was not published or performed during her life even though she was unquestionably one of Finland's leading composers at the time, was recently rediscovered and got its first-ever performance in November 2020.
I'm so glad you exposed these Composers.
Think both 'Crusell's Quartet in Eb Major' and 'Moberg's Tondikt' are fabulous! Found both their styles to be uniquely refreshing and I would be interested in learning at least parts of these pieces.
...really want to hear & learn more!
@AndrewH, there is a lot of info about Ida Moberg available in Finnish, but I found one article also in English: https://fmq.fi/articles/ida-mo.....PoIRdjN8GQ
Ida Moberg was the first Finnish woman to compose the symphony, but her name is still quite unknown to Finns, because her works have not been printed. There are only original manuscripts that are very difficult to find. Many of them, such as that symphony, are also missing.
Some other Finnish composers I want to mention are Armas Järnefelt, Heino Kaski and Lasse Mårtenson. There are many others too, but let’s start with them. 😊
The best known of his works is ”Kehtolaulu”, Berceuse. I played it here. (Second post on this page.)
Armas Järnefelt was Jean Sibelius's fellow student and his sister Aino was married with Jean Sibelius.
Cellist Jussi Makkonen plays two of his best known pieces in this video. ”Pankakoski” starts at 8:25 and ”Yö meren rannalla” at 12:00.
Pankakoski is a place in the Eastern Finland. The word “koski” means rapids, and I think in this composition one can hear how water flows in the rapids. Maybe he was thinking just about it when he composed this. 🤔
”Yö meren rannalla” means simply night by the sea.
Both of these were originally composed for piano, but I just love these cello arrangements!
He was mainly a singer, but also composed a lot especially film music. His best known and most loved composition is definitely ”Myrskyluodon Maija”. In this video, of course, as a cello/piano arrangement. 🥰
Looks like this thread was long overdue - definitely has kindled in me a new interest in Classical music.
I could lose myself in these pieces, they're so beautiful!
Myrskyluodon Maija really surprised me, it was very exciting - and ALL the pieces seem full of imagery for me, which I really love.
Thank you for sharing this information and and these videos!
...full of imagination, too!
@ELCBK, I’m so glad you liked them! 😊👍🏻 I’ll introduce some others later, I have to find the best videos first.