Elämälle: Songs by Oskar Merikanto

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Oskar Merikanto was apparently a very popular composer in Finland during the years around 1900; the booklet notes tell of a Helsinki musician touring the countryside and being asked whether there were any other great composers in Helsinki besides Merikanto. Merikanto made a varied living of the sort undertaken by composers in nascent concert scenes, working as a pianist, church organist, "organ inspector" whatever that was, conductor, critic, and teacher. He wrote about 150 songs, pleasant, foursquare creations with attractive melodies that have drawn comparisons to Paolo Tosti. They're not quite that far toward the popular end of the spectrum, but they don't sound like ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Oskar Merikanto was apparently a very popular composer in Finland during the years around 1900; the booklet notes tell of a Helsinki musician touring the countryside and being asked whether there were any other great composers in Helsinki besides Merikanto. Merikanto made a varied living of the sort undertaken by composers in nascent concert scenes, working as a pianist, church organist, "organ inspector" whatever that was, conductor, critic, and teacher. He wrote about 150 songs, pleasant, foursquare creations with attractive melodies that have drawn comparisons to Paolo Tosti. They're not quite that far toward the popular end of the spectrum, but they don't sound like Sibelius at all, and they show minimal influence from any composer of German lieder after Schubert. Probably the closest comparison would be Tchaikovsky's songs: imagine the "Nocturne," track 21, in Russian, and you can imagine that Merikanto started from some of the same Tchaikovskian sources Sibelius did, even if he went in a different direction. More is generally happening in the accompaniment than in the vocal line, and baritone Jorma Hynninen and pianist Ilkka Paananen execute the balance here -- simple, sensuous vocal line underlaid by fairly detailed piano part -- very well. The more serious pieces, such as the cycle of four songs "From the Graves, Op. 74" tracks 11-14, are the most successful, but there are also folk-like pieces try the slight "Suvi-illan vieno tuuli" [Summer's Evening Breeze], Op. 87/2, track 3 that will stick with you. No one is claiming these songs are lost masterpieces, but singers willing to brave the minefield of Finnish pronunciation should check them out. All texts are in Finnish and English.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/22/2008
  • Label: Ondine
  • UPC: 761195111123
  • Catalog Number: 1111
  • Sales rank: 208,837

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Omenankukat (Apple Blossom), song for voice & piano, Op. 53/1 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (1:26)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  2. 2 Linnulle kirkkomaalla (To a Bird in the Churchyard), song for voice & piano, Op. 52/2 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (1:57)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  3. 3 Suvi-illan vieno tuuli (Summer Evening's Gentle Breezes), song for voice & piano, Op. 87/2 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (1:45)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  4. 4 Muistellessa (Remembering), song for voice & piano, Op. 11/2 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (3:59)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  5. 5 Miksi laulan (Why Do I Sing), song for voice & piano, Op. 20/2 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (1:15)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  6. 6 Kullan murunen (Thou Art a Nugget of Gold), song for voice & piano, Op. 20/1 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (1:41)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  7. 7 Merellä (At Sea), song for voice & piano, Op. 47/4 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (4:17)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  8. 8 Myrskylintu (The Thunderbird), song for voice & piano, Op. 30/4 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (3:07)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  9. 9 Laatokka (Lake Ladoga), song for voice & piano, Op. 83/1 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (3:35)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  10. 10 Iltakellot (Evening Bells), song for voice & piano, Op. 106/1 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (2:42)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  11. 11–14 Haudoilta-sarja (From the Graves), song cycle, Op. 74 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (10:46)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
    1. 11Valkeat ristit (White crosses)
    2. 12Laulaja taivaan portilla (A singer at the gate of Heaven)
    3. 13Käy kirkkomaata illoin (In the churchyard at eventide)
    4. 14Päivännousu kultaa kirkkomaan (Sunrise gilds the churchyard)
  12. 15 Hyvästi (Farewell), song for voice & piano, Op. 87/3 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (1:27)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  13. 16 Hyvää yötä (Goodnight), song for voice & piano, Op. 75/1 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (2:26)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  14. 17 Hämärissä (In the Twilight), song for voice & piano, Op. 96/1 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (1:31)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  15. 18 Elämälle (To Life), song for voice & piano, Op. 93/4 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (2:17)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  16. 19 Annina, song for voice & piano, Op. 51/2 - Oskar Merikanto & Daniel Fallstrom (3:37)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  17. 20 Illansuussa (At Nightfall), song for voice & piano, Op. 69/2 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (2:01)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  18. 21 Nocturne, song for voice & piano - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (2:29)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  19. 22 Balladi (Ballad), song for voice & piano, Op. 69/4 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (2:43)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  20. 23 Nuoruuden ylistys (Praise of Youth), song for voice & piano, Op. 69/3 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (2:04)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  21. 24 Soi vienosti murheeni soitto (Play Softly, Thou Tune of My Mourning), song for voice & piano, Op. 36/3 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (1:58)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
  22. 25 Ma elän! (I Am Alive!), song for voice & piano, Op. 71/1 - Oskar Merikanto & Jorma Hynninen (1:28)
    Composed byOskar Merikanto
    Performed byJorma Hynninen
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jorma Hynninen Primary Artist
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