Monday, December 2, 2013

Finnish Music!

Finland does not celebrate Thanksgiving (Kiitospäivä -- "Thanksday" -- as they call it), but I still spent the day being thankful for all the wonderful things in my life.  I visited my American friends in Helsinki to tour Fazer, the big Finnish chocolate factory (and discovered that there is indeed such thing as too much all-you-can-eat chocolate), and to record some of the Finnish music that we have been working on.  We found the music thanks to musicfinland.fi, which was recommended by a friend because the reason it exists is to help people discover Finnish music.  So, we sent them an email describing our situation, and a few days later we had the name of a book of Finnish Works for Piano Trio (violin, cello, piano), arranged by Josef Móró.  Since our French horn was willing to transpose and play the cello part, we were good to go!

Looking through the pieces in the book, I was interested to see that many of them are about nature in some form.  There are a lot involving summer (kesä) and one awesome one called Under the North Star (Täällä Pohjantähden alla).  It seems that Finns thoughts truly are never far from nature, even in their classical music.

We spent our Thanksgiving evening making a few recordings, some of which you can find below.  Enjoy, and happy late Thanksgiving!

Recordings:
Kesäpäivä Kangasalla (A Summer's Day in Kangasala), by Gabriel Linsén

Kesäilta (Summer Evening), by Oska Merikanto

Berceuse from Kehtolaulu (Lullaby), by Armas Järnefelt

If you are interested in Finnish music, you should check out Olivia's (the pianist) blog because she is here in Finland studying the influence of folk music on their most famous composer - Jean Sibelius.

Taking a break from recording in one of the Sibelius Academy's practice rooms


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