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Home » Epoch - Modern classic

Toivo Kuula

This remarkable programme presents songs and orchestral music by Finnish composer Toivo Kuula (1883-1918), a pupil of Sibelius who died young. Best-known for his songs and choral music, Kuula’s arresting orchestral music draws heavily on folk legends and Ostrobothnian folksong and constitutes some of the most striking Finnish music of its time. Renowed soprano Susan Gritton and the BBC Concert Orchestra under the inspired baton of Martyn Brabbins give spellbinding accounts of this gloriously colourful repertoire.

Full song text in booklet (both original Finnish and an English translation)

Merenkylpijäneidot op.12 (1909 orch 1910) (‘The Sea-bathing Nymphs’) SG
South Ostrobothnian Suite no.2 op.20 (1912-13)
Four Songs with orchestra SG
Kesäilta (1907 orch 1917) (‘Summer Evening’)
Tuijotin Tulehen Kauan op.2 no.2 (1907) (‘Long I Stared into the Fire’) (orch Aarre Merikanto)
Karjapihassa op.31a no.2 (1917 orch 1918) (‘In the Cattle Yard’)
Purjein Kuutamolla op.31a no.1 (1917 orch 1918) (‘Sailing in the Moonlight’)
Concert Suite: Orjan Poika op.14b (1912) (‘Son of a Slave’)
Impi Ja Pajarin Poika op.18 (1911 orch 1912) (‘The Maiden and the Son of a Boyar’) SG
Prelude and Fugue op.10 (1909)

World Premiere Recordings (in these versions)

BBC Concert Orchestra
Martyn Brabbins (conductor)
SG Susan Gritton (soprano)

Recorded at Air Studios, Hampstead, London, 24-26 January 2011

Toivo Kuula - Songs and Orchestral Music - BBC Concert Orchestra

“Toivo Kuula was a composition pupil of Sibelius ... Some of the master’s fingerprints are audible.”

“Susan Gritton’s performance is operatically charged and very effective.”

Terry Blaine, BBC Music Magazine, 2011

“Lovers of Ravel and Bax will delight in these.”
Editor’s Choice, Gramophone, February 2012

“An enthralling disc.”
Guy Rickards, Gramophone, February 2012

“Kuula’s brilliant career was cut short ... Critics still argue whether he’d entered into his artistic maturity ... given the quality of performances here and the music we’re offered, I’d suggest he was at the least a highly talented young composer ... With texts in the original Finnish and English, strongly recommended.”
Barry Brenesal, Fanfare, January/February 2012

CDLX 7272
Price: £10.99

(Guide prices: $17.19, €15.58, ¥2,127)


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