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Sibelius: Songs

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All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Karita Mattila's large, focused, warmly expressive soprano is especially well suited to the music of the Romantic and post-Romantic eras, so it seems natural that she would have an affinity for the vocal music of her countryman Jean Sibelius, whose songs are among his most passionate compositions. Sibelius was a prolific song composer, but his production of vocal solos petered out in the 1920s, around the same time he wrote his last symphony, not long before he virtually ceased producing new works. The selection of 24 songs recorded here dates from 1891 to 1917 and includes his only song cycle, "Flower Songs, Op. 88," from 1917. The songs are especially attractive, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Karita Mattila's large, focused, warmly expressive soprano is especially well suited to the music of the Romantic and post-Romantic eras, so it seems natural that she would have an affinity for the vocal music of her countryman Jean Sibelius, whose songs are among his most passionate compositions. Sibelius was a prolific song composer, but his production of vocal solos petered out in the 1920s, around the same time he wrote his last symphony, not long before he virtually ceased producing new works. The selection of 24 songs recorded here dates from 1891 to 1917 and includes his only song cycle, "Flower Songs, Op. 88," from 1917. The songs are especially attractive, harmonically lush and melodically gratifying, beautifully constructed, and written to show off the virtuosic possibilities of the voice. Many of them, such as "Fåfäng önskan" and "Svarta rosor," lie very high, but Mattila soars and floats through their punishing tessitura with apparent effortlessness. Her robust soprano is absolutely secure throughout the full extent of her range as is especially evident in "Arioso" and sounds like an advertisement for superb vocal health and grounded technique. That health comes across in the exuberance of her interpretations and her ability to sing with an abandon that never threatens to veer out of control, and she never sounds less than fully at ease. Pianist Ilmo Ranta supplies a supportive accompaniment. Ondine's sound is clear, clean, and vibrant. This album should delight Mattila's fans, as well as Sibelius enthusiasts and anyone who appreciates luminous vocal performances.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/23/1996
  • Label: Ondine
  • UPC: 761195085622
  • Catalog Number: 856

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 To Evening (Illalle), song for voice & piano, Op. 17/6 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (1:32)
  2. 2 Was it a dream? (Var det en dröm), song for voice & piano, Op. 37/4 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (2:13)
  3. 3 The Diamond on the March Snow (Demanton på marssnön), song for voice & piano, Op. 36/6 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (3:25)
  4. 4 Enticement (Fågellek), song for voice & piano, Op. 17/3 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (1:49)
  5. 5 Driftwood (Lastu Lainehilla), song for voice & piano, Op. 17/7 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (1:17)
  6. 6 Row, row duck (Souda, souda, sinisorsa), for voice & piano - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (1:24)
  7. 7 Spring is flying (Våren flyktar hastigt) song for voice & piano, Op. 13/4 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (1:40)
  8. 8 The First Kiss (Den förste kyssen, II), song for voice & piano, Op. 37/1 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (2:08)
  9. 9 But my Bird is Long in Homing (Men min fågel märks dock icke), Song for voice & piano, Op. 36/2 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (2:36)
  10. 10 The Maid Returned from Meeeting her Lover (Flickan kon ifrån sin älsklings möte), song for voice & piano, Op. 37/5 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (3:11)
  11. 11 Arioso, for voice & piano (arranged from voice/orchestra version), Op. 3 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (4:51)
  12. 12 Idle Wishes (Fåfäng önskan), song for voice & piano, Op. 61/7 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (3:27)
  13. 13–18 Songs (6) for voice & piano, Op. 88 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (9:06)
  14. 14 The North (Norden), song for voice & piano, Op. 90/1 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (2:55)
  15. 15 The Echo Nymph (Kaiutar), somg for voice & piano, Op. 72/4 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (3:33)
  16. 16 Dragon-Fly (En slända), song for voice & piano, Op. 17/5 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (5:18)
  17. 17 Black Roses (Svarta rosor), song for voice & piano, Op. 36/1 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (2:07)
  18. 18 May (Maj), song for voice & piano, Op. 57/4 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (2:44)
  19. 19 Jubal, song for voice & piano, Op. 35/1 - Jean Sibelius & Timothy Binham (5:08)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Karita Mattila Primary Artist
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