Einojuhani Rautavaara
Complete Works for Male Choir

Talla Vocal Ensemble
YL Male Voice Choir
Matti Hyökki, conductor
Pasi Hyökki, conductor
Tuomas Katajala, tenor

Finnish contemporary


2 CDs; booklet with liner notes in English and Finnish and the sung lyrics in the original language and in English


October 2008 (Finland)
November 2008 (internationally)

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1125-2D


Track listing

CD 1 47:07
Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016)
1 Lauluja (The Singer) (1956) 2:30
2 Syksy virran suussa (Autumn at the Rivermouth) (1965/1995) 2:49
Two Preludes of T.S. Eliot (1956/1967)
3 I. Winter Evening 2:08
4 II. The Morning Comes 0:44
Kaksi psalmia (Two Psalms) for male choir (1968/1971)
5 23 2:41
6 130 2:34
7 Ave Maria (1957) 3:24
8 Joulun virsi (Christmas Hymn) for male choir (1953) 1:32
Elämän kirja (A Book of Life) (1972)
9 I. Kindheit (Childhood) 3:53
10 II. Ma bohème (My Bohemian life) 2:32
11 III. L'Amoureuse (One in love) 1:10
12 IV. Vanitas! Vanitatum vanitas 3:24
13 V. Hope is the Thing with Feathers 1:13
14 VI. Are You Ready? 1:34
15 VII. Huojuva keula (The swaying prow) 1:03
16 VIII. Le Bain (Swimming) 1:36
17 IX. Me emme kuole koskaan (We shall never die) 2:16
18 X. Så var det (So it was) 1:27
19 XI. Song of Myself 7:15

CD 2 52:01
Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016)
Neljä laulua Aleksis Kiven runoihin (Four Songs to Poems by Aleksis Kivi) (1998/2005)
1 I. Ikävyys (Melancholy) 4:01
2 II. Olven kunnia (The glory of beer) 1:30
3 III. Oravan laulu (The squirrel) 3:33
4 IV. Sydämeni laulu (Song of my heart) 3:33
5 Legenda (Legend) (1985) 3:06
6 Lehdet lehtiä (Leaves are Leaves) (1985) 4:30
Neljä serenadia (Four Serenades) (1978)
7 I. Serenade für meine Frau (Serenade to my wife) 1:38
8 II. La mort des pauvres (Serenade to death) 2:06
9 III. Serenadien serenadi (Serenade of Serenades) 1:26
10 IV. Serenadi oluelle (Serenade to beer) 2:16
11 Hammarskjöld-fragment (Hammarskjöld Fragment) (1975) 5:51
12 Isontalon Antti ja Rannanjärvi (Antti Isotalo and Rannanjärvi) (1973) 3:48
13 Hallin Janne (Janne of Halli) (1973) 1:51
14 Kettu ja sairas kukko (The Fox and the Sick Cockerel) (1975) 1:53
Neljä romanssia oopperasta Rasputin (Four Romances from the Opera Rasputin) (2003/2006)
15 I. Lävitse kimmeltävän yön (Through the glimmering night) 2:21
16 II. Kaukana on minun maani (Far away lies my homeland) 3:07
17 III. Troikka kiitää (The troika speeds) 1:46
18 IV. Kuu kelmeä vain virtaan kuvastuu (Moonlight is pale upon the river) 2:20

Also recommended...


Gramophone 'Editor's Choice'

Press review

Especially striking, its tenor line soaring over a quasi-orchestral vocal fabric, is the literary Leaves are Leaves; but finer stilll are the Four Alexis Kivi Songs (...) the main solo 'Melancholy' movingly underpinned by YL's awesomely dark, firm basses.
Michael Scott Rohan, BBC Music Magazine, March 2009, Performance ***** / Sound *****

It would be a mistake to bypass it, for this is not just choral music, but choral music by a Finnish composer, and the male choir is one of the most popular examples of the genre - the Finns love it. (...) Both (choirs) are, in a word, phenomenal, and well worth the effort and purchase.
Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition, January 1, 2009

This comprehensive, magnificently sung collection has the field to itself. (...) The greater textural palette attained through using two differently sized choirs is more akin to early music.
Guy Rickards, Gramophone, January 2009, Editor's Choice

Einojuhani Rautavaara has a sensitive ear for the specific sound of a male choir. (...) The YL Male Voice Choir under Matti Hyökki phrases the music and pronounces the texts with great energy. The pure sound produced by the Talla Vocal Ensemble will caress your ears.
Jukka Isopuro, Helsingin Sanomat, October 9, 2008

Clearly, these singers and their conductors (...) have Rautavaara's music deeply entrenched in their souls. (...) splendid tribute to Finland's most significant musical voice.
Marc Rochester, International Record Review, October 2008

Complete description

This double CD comprises Einojuhani Rautavaara's complete music for male choir - one of the most popular genres in the Finnish cult composer's artistic output. The two featured ensembles are YL Male Voice Choir (Helsinki University Choir), one of the world's most prominent male voice choirs and the prominent commissioner and dedicatee of most of Rautavaara's (and also Jean Sibelius's) works for male choir, and the Talla Vocal Ensemble, a smaller group of 10 singers originally founded within the YL Choir.

Both ensembles are performing separately on this disc:
YL Male Voice Choir, Matti Hyökki: CD 1 (1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 12, 15-17, 19), CD 2 (1-4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14-18);
Talla Vocal Ensemble, Pasi Hyökki: CD 1 (3, 4, 7, 9-11, 13, 14, 18), CD 2 (5, 7, 9, 11, 13).
Tenor Tuomas Katajala is featured as soloist with several songs: CD 1 (19), CD 2 (6, 12).

This release marks the culmination of the 80th birthday celebrations for Ondine's best-selling composer on October 9th. Ondine has had a long and fruitful association with Rautavaara since the late 1980s, having recorded the premières of many of his works and garnering many awards along the way, including a Grammy nomination for his Angel of Light (Symphony No. 7; ODE 869-2).