Matti Salminen
Elämäni lauluja. A Finnish Songbook

Matti Salminen, bass
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
John Storgårds, conductor

Finnish contemporary
Finnish traditional


Booklet with liner notes in Finnish and English and the sung texts in the original language and in English


October 2008

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1135-2


Track listing

CD 58:27
Oskar Merikanto (1868-1924)
1 Soi vienosti murheeni soitto (Play Softly, Thou Tune of My Mourning) 2:12
2 Merellä (At Sea) 5:42
3 Vallinkorvan laulu (The Vallinkorva Song) 3:33
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
4 Souda, souda, sinisorsa 1:18
5 Lastu lainehilla, Op. 17/7 1:11
6 Ristilukki (The Song of the Cross-spider) 4:14
Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
7 Yrtit tummat (Dark-Hued Leaves), Op. 9/1 3:16
8 Itkisit joskus illoin (If You'd Sometimes Weep at Evening), Op. 25/5 2:52
Yrjö Kilpinen (1892-1959)
9 Kesäyö (Summer Night) 2:16
10 Vanha kirkko (The Old Church), Op. 54/1 3:08
11 Rannalta I (From the Shore I) 3:35
Martti Turunen (1902-1979)
12 Sunnuntai (Sunday) 3:29
Vilho Luolajan-Mikkola (1911-2005)
13 Häätanhu (Wedding Dance) 2:48
Toivo Kuula (1883-1918)
14 Tuijotin tulehen kauan (Long Gazed I into the Fire) 5:51
15 Kesäyö kirkkomaalla (Summer Night in the Churchyard) 3:04
16 Yö (Night) 2:40
17 Tällaaselle poijalle (For a Boy Like This) 1:37
18 Tuuli se taivutti koivun larvan (The Wind Bent Down) 2:51
19 Niin kauan minä tramppaan (I'll Walk Around This Here Village) 1:09

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Press review

One of the greatest operatic basses of his generation and beyond (...) his latest disc celebrates the naturalness of his art. (...) Under John Storgårds's baton, the Helsinki Philharmonic accompanies Salminen generously.
John Allison, Gramophone, April 2009

Salminen's experience with lighter music since his youth ads a popular and retro-style sound to these songs. His long opera career enables him to a comprehensive, clear scale of expression. And then there is Salminen’s warm, resounding voice. The 63-year-old bass is in top form. The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under John Storgårds exhibit (...) sumptuous sound.
Kare Eskola, Yle Radio 1, November 13, 2008

Complete description

Matti Salminen is an acoustic phenomenon and possibly the finest authentic bass singer of our time. The winner of two Grammies owes his legendary reputation to a uniquely powerful and dark voice, and he continues to sing Wagner, Mozart and Mussorgsky roles at nearly every prominent opera house and concert hall in the world. It is known that the scheduling of Wagner operas at the New York Met is adjusted to suit Salminen's diary.

On this new recording (entitled Elämäni lauluja - "Songs of my life"), Matti Salminen performs rarities offside the standard repertoire and delivers a personal account of orchestral songs from compatriot Finnish composers, including the great Jean Sibelius. Accompanied by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under its new chief conductor John Storgårds, Salminen is completely at home singing this music. Many of these songs about nature and love deserve greater attention or discovery, and this exceptional disc represents an ideal vehicle.