Perttu Haapanen

Compulsion Island

Ladies' Room

Flute Concerto

Helena Juntunen, soprano
Yuki Koyama, flute
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Hannu Lintu, conductor
Dima Slobodeniouk, conductor

Finnish contemporary


Sleeve notes in Eglish and Finnish.

Lyrics for Ladies' Room in original language and English translation.


November 2019

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1307-2


Track listing

CD 62:41
Perttu Haapanen (1972-)
1 Compulsion Island (2014) 15:49
Ladies' Room for soprano and chamber orchestra (2006-7, rev. 2008) 19:22
2 I Musta sohva 2:47
3 II Hommage à Adolf Wölfli I 2:53
4 III Lapsen elämää 1:54
5 IV Hommage à Adolf Wölfli II 1:22
6 V The Phoenix Force 4:28
7 VI Hommage à Adolf Wölfli III 0:44
8 VII An invoice 1:58
9 VIII Hommage à Adolf Wölfli IV 0:51
10 IX Käärmevaunuissa 2:25
Flute Concerto (2018) 27:07
11 ♪ = 66 14:49 14:49
12 Quasi cadenza, poco rubato 12:18

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Complete description

This new album by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra focuses on works by Perttu Haapanen (b. 1972), one of the most important and interesting Finnish composers of his generation. It includes a recently-written Flute Concerto with Yuki Koyama as soloist and conducted by Dima Slobodeniouk, and two other works conducted by Hannu Lintu: a song-cycle written for soprano Helena Juntunen and an orchestral work, Compulsion Island, written for the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.


Compulsion Island was written to a commission from the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and makes full use of the resources of a full-sized symphony orchestra. Haapanen creates a multi-layered and richly sonorous texture where extended instrument techniques play a significant and carefully considered role. Beginning with the opening trumpet solo, there are several solo sections (for violin, clarinet, tuba, etc.) that appear as individual voices in the chaotic mental landscape of the ‘island’. Quiet, stagnant and expectant yet tense moments alternate with charged and punchy rhythmical passages that increase in force until the final culmination, followed by a subsiding, dreamlike and unreal epilogue.


The Flute Concerto lasts about 25 minutes and is in a single movement divided into two halves featuring different materials, according to the composer. At the surface level, it comes across as a flexible and elastic structure consisting of several short sections in rapid succession, with contrasting moods either alternating or superimposed. The palette of sonorities is rich, augmented by extended instrument techniques and a number of rare sound sources such as a typewriter producing crisp rhythms and the absurd sounds of wheezing toys. Haapanen wrote the concerto to a commission from the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, to be performed by the orchestra’s virtuoso Principal Flute, Yuki Koyama.


Ladies’ Room for soprano and chamber orchestra was written to a commission from the Musica nova Helsinki festival. Originally written and premiered in 2007 by Helena Juntunen, it was revised by Haapanen in the following year. The work is in a single movement but is actually a cycle of nine songs that are all sung without a break. The texts come from a wide variety of sources: poems by conductor and mezzosoprano Jutta Seppinen, the Bible, Google, the archives of Scotland Yard and Paul Celan. Between them are four nonsense text settings that pay homage to Adolf Wölfli, an early 20th-century Swiss artist. The soprano part is highly demanding due to its wide range of vocal techniques which make Ladies’ Room a vocal virtuoso work where the virtuoso component is an integral part of the content.


Conductor Hannu Lintu recently won the Gramophone Award and ICMA Award for his recording of the Bartók Violin Concertos (ODE 1317-2) together with Christian Tetzlaff and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. The same recording was also nominated for the 2019 BBC Music Magazine Awards. Recordings by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hannu Lintu on Ondine have gathered excellent reviews in the international press. Two of their recordings were nominated for Gramophone Awards in 2018. One of them, including orchestral works and songs by Jean Sibelius (ODE 1289-5) also won an ICMA Award in January 2018. The recent recording of Lutoslawski’s 1st and 4th Symphonies (ODE 1320-5) was chosen ‘Recording of the Month’ by the BBC Music Magazine in February 2019. Dima Slobodeniouk, Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and Principal conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, has made an impact with his deeply informed and intelligent artistic leadership. This recording is Slobodeniouk’s second with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra on Ondine label.