Track listing Complete description Also recommended...

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  • LinkFire

Bernhard Henrik Crusell

The Last Warrior (Den siste kämpen)

Bassoon Concerto

Overture to 'The Little Slave Girl'




Sleeve notes in English, sung texts with English translation

First commercial recording the Overture

World première recording of 'The Last Warrior'


August 2023

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1424-2


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Track listing

Overture to the Opera 'The Little Slave Girl' (1824)

Bassoon Concerto in B-flat major (1829)
Allegro brillante

Allegro moderato


The Last Warrior ('Den siste kämpen'), Declamatorium for recitation, choir and orchestra (1834)

Declamation: I natten tindra blixtarnas sken

Ur klostret steg fjärran klockornas klang

Dock, Du lever!

Valhalla älsking, upphöj din röst!

Gånge är stallbröder mina

I natten tindra blixtarnas sken

Från branta fjället han trotsig ser

Kom att röna Valhalls öden

Valhalla som, träd fram i Odens sal!

Also recommended...

Complete description

This new album by the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and Aapo Häkkinen together with the Audi Jugendchorakademie and bassoonist Jani Sunnarborg featuring late works by composer Bernhard Henrik Crusell (1775–1838) makes an important addition to the recordings of Nordic Classical period works and of early Finnish music. Highlight of the album is the world première recording of Crusell’s Viking-themed ‘The Last Warrior’ (Den sista kämpen), the composer’s last large-scale composition.   


Conductor Robert Kajanus described in 1896 that Crusell was “among the classics in Finnish art music”. Born in Finland in 1775, Crusell was a child prodigy who was sent to Stockholm to receive musical training in his late teens. Crusell would become a famous clarinet virtuoso who toured Berlin, Leipzig and Paris, staying there for six months in 1803, and who would write three virtuosic clarinet concertos which still today belong to the standard repertoire of the instrument alongside Mozart’s famous clarinet concerto.


This album highlights the other, much lesser-known side of Crusell’s compositions written after he ended his career as a touring clarinet virtuoso. This album includes an orchestral overture written by Crusell to his opera, ‘The Little Slave Girl’, his late bassoon concerto performed on period instruments, as well as his ‘The Last Warrior’ for recitation, choir and orchestra, showcasing the composer’s excellent choral writing. Prior to this recording this work has not been heard since its first public performance in 1837, just some months before the composer’s death.


Jani Sunnarborg has studied the bassoon at the Sibelius Academy and historical bassoons and early music at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, CNSMD de Paris and CESMD de Poitou-Charentes. He lives currently in Finland and performs as an orchestra and chamber musician as well as soloist across continental Europe. He is regular solo bassoonist with Les Musiciens du Louvre, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and {Oh!} Orkiestra. He is often invited to join ensembles such as Freiburger Barockorchester, Les Talens Lyriques, Balthasar Neumann Ensemble, Finnish Baroque Orchestra, Drottningholmsoperan and several others. Sunnarborg teaches historical bassoons at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.


The Audi Jugendchorakademie based at Ingolstadt in Bavaria is both a youth choir and a choral academy founded in 2007 as part of Audi AG’s Audi ArtExperience cultural project. It has already become a widely-recognised institution performing at venues as far apart as Singapore and Canada. Its repertoire is not tied to any particular era, so that in addition to works such as the Bach Passions, it has sung in symphonies by Gustav Mahler and Charles Ives, and in works by composers including Haydn and Dvořák. In contemporary repertoire, it premiered Arche by Jörg Widmann at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie under Kent Nagano, a frequent guest conductor. The 70 or so singers in the Audi Jugendchorakademie are all aged 16–27. The choir’s Artistic Director since 2008 has been Martin Steidler, Professor of Choral Conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich.


For 25 years, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra’s performances and recordings have captivated audiences with their potent combination of emotional eloquence and infectious vitality. Their programmes frequently include first modern performances of unpublished or reconstructed masterpieces, and also shed unexpected and often provocative new light on more familiar works. Their music-making has contributed to the ensemble’s reputation as a major exponent of German and Baltic music. At home, groundbreaking productions of Monteverdi, Handel, Hasse, Ko?eluch,and Schubert operas have earned the orchestra wide recognition. Since 2011, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra’s monthly series at the Helsinki Musiikkitalo has reached a large, new, and enthusiastic public. Recurring soloists and guest directors include Max Emanuel Cenčić, Franco Fagioli, Reinhard Goebel, Werner Güra, Erich Höbarth, René Jacobs, Julia Lezhneva, Riccardo Minasi, Enrico Onofri, Sonia Prina, Valer Sabadus, Carolyn Sampson, Skip Sempé, and Dmitry Sinkovsky. Helsinki Baroque’s sound has enthralled listeners from the Cologne Philharmonie to Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and at major festivals such as Bergen, Bremen, Rheingau, and Jerusalem.


Aapo Häkkinen took up the harpsichord at the age of thirteen, studying with Elina Mustonen and Olli Porthan (organ) at the Sibelius Academy. From 1995 to 1998 he studied with Bob van Asperen at the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatory and from 1996 to 2000 with Pierre Hantaï in Paris, and also enjoyed the generous guidance and encouragement of Gustav Leonhardt. Immediately after obtaining his diploma in 1998, he won second prize and the VRT prize at the Bruges Harpsichord Competition. Aapo Häkkinen has appeared as soloist and conductor in most European countries, in Turkey, Israel, Georgia, Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam, the USA, Brazil, and Mexico. His discography includes recordings for various labels. Besides the harpsichord, Aapo Häkkinen regularly performs on the organ, on the clavichord, and on the fortepiano. He teaches at the Sibelius Academy and at international masterclasses. He has been Artistic Director of the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra since 2003.


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