Works Discography

Toivo Kuula (1883-1918)

Toivo Kuula was a popular Finnish composer of vocal music, a colourful and passionate portrayer of Finnish nature and people. Born in the city of Vaasa (in those days Nikolainkaupunki), when Finland still was a Grand Duchy under Russian rule, Kuula died in the provincial hospital in Vyborg in 1918 at the age of only 35, after being mortally wounded 18 days earlier on Walpurgis Night. The bullet was fired as a result of a quarrel that happened in front of Hotel Seurahuone in conjunction with the first victory celebration of the white victory in the Civil War of Finland. Hence Kuula is frequently described as the 'tragic Romantic in Finnish music'.

On the other hand, the description also captures something of the flavour of his music, which is often replete with brooding pathos and overflowing sentiment. Kuula went on study trips to Italy, Germany and France and developed an interest in the Impressionism of Debussy. There are fleeting touches of Impressionism in his music, but for the most part his style is a flowing, nationally tinted brand of Romanticism.

Kuula was also an active collector of folk music and occasionally used folk tunes in his works. He made his breakthrough with two extensive and tempestuous chamber music works, the Violin Sonata in E minor (1907) and the Piano Trio in A major (1908). Before these, he had written a few solo songs - Syystunnelma ("Autumn Mood", 1904) and Aamulaulu ("Morning song", 1905) - that have since become classics.

Some of Kuula's later songs have also remained in the core repertoire. Perhaps the best-known of these is Tuijotin tulehen kauan ("Long I Stared into the Fire", 1907), which somehow captures the essence of his solo songs: the music begins in a static meditation, escalates to a powerful climax and then returns to the brooding mood of the opening.

More information:
Finnish Music Information Centre
Toivo Kuula Society (Helsinki)

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574 On kaunis synnyinmaamme
Aamulaulu (Morning Song)
Ave Maria
Epilogi (Epilogue)
Eteläpohjalaisia kansanlauluja (South Ostrobothnian Folk Songs)
Festive March, Op. 13
Häämarssi (Wedding March) (arr. Eero Kosonen)
Imandran laulu (Imandra's Song)
Joululaulu (Sanaton laulu)
Jääkukkia (Frost Flowers)
Karjapihassa (In the Cattleyard)
Kesäyö kirkkomaalla (Summer Night in the Churchyard)
Kohtalo (Fate)
Lauantai-ilta (Saturday Evening)
Lyö sydän (Beat, My Heart)
Marjatan laulu (Marjatta's Song)
On Herran templiin tulla (Going to the Lord's Temple)
Paimenet (The Herdsmen)
Piano Trio, Op. 7 (1908)
Prelude and Fugue, Op. 10
Sinipiika (The Forest Maid)
South Ostrobothnian Suite No. 1, Op. 9
South Ostrobothnian Suite No. 2, Op. 20
Suutelo (The Kiss)
Syystunnelma (Autumn mood)
Tuijotin tulehen kauan (Long Gazed I into the Fire)
Tule, armaani (Come, My Love)
Vanha syyslaulu (Autumn song), Op. 110 No. 2
Yli kukkien (She Walks on Flowers)
Yö (Night), Op. 110 No. 1
Yö nummella (Night on the Moor)
full discography

Discography (extract)

Leif Segerstam 80 Years

(Digital Album)

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra

Turku Philharmonic Orchestra

Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

ODE 1470-2

Released 05/2024

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Toivo Kuula
Festive March, Op. 13
South Ostrobothnian Suites 1 & 2
Prelude and Fugue, Op. 10

Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Leif Segerstam, conductor
ODE 1270-2

Released 09/2015

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Karita Mattila
Helsinki Recital

Duparc · Saariaho · Rachmaninov · Dvorák
Karita Mattila, soprano
Martin Katz, piano
ODV 4004 (DVD Video)
+ Bonus CD (Lieder By German and Finnish composers)

Released 09/2010

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Soi kunniaksi Luojan

YL Male Voice Choir
Matti Hyökki, conductor
ODE 1159-2

Released 08/2010

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