The Voice of Sibelius

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Though most of its members are wearing sunglasses on the cover, the YL Male Voice Choir isn't kidding when it comes to this disc's title: YL The Voice of Sibelius. Since its founding in 1893 at Helsinki University, YL has participated in the premieres of nearly all Sibelius' works for male chorus, most famously his "Kullervo Symphony." Indeed, many of the works on this disc were written for and dedicated to YL, and it is not too much to say that these performances are, for all intents and purposes, definitive. Led by Matti Hyökki, the YL has a strong but nuanced tone and a tight but supple ensemble combined with a burnished blend, a robust balance, and a vigorous sense of...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Though most of its members are wearing sunglasses on the cover, the YL Male Voice Choir isn't kidding when it comes to this disc's title: YL The Voice of Sibelius. Since its founding in 1893 at Helsinki University, YL has participated in the premieres of nearly all Sibelius' works for male chorus, most famously his "Kullervo Symphony." Indeed, many of the works on this disc were written for and dedicated to YL, and it is not too much to say that these performances are, for all intents and purposes, definitive. Led by Matti Hyökki, the YL has a strong but nuanced tone and a tight but supple ensemble combined with a burnished blend, a robust balance, and a vigorous sense of rhythm that suits Sibelius' music perfectly. The majority of the pieces on the program here come from the composer's first period when ardent patriotism and passionate expressivity were his music's foremost characteristics. Of the 21 works included, 14 are for male choir a cappella, while the other seven are scored for male choir plus orchestra and occasional male vocal soloists. The best-known work, of course, is "Finlandia," and YL gives it a suitably full-throated performance. Perhaps the best works here are the two longest: "The Origin of Fire" and "The Captive Queen" for male choir and orchestra. Both works sound like prime Sibelius: restrained almost to the point of austerity, but intense and extremely effective. Accompanied by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä, the YL's performances will be mandatory listening for dedicated fans of the Finnish composer. BIS' digital sound is warm, round, and deep.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/24/2008
  • Label: Bis
  • EAN: 7318590014332
  • Catalog Number: 1433
  • Sales rank: 280,515

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Broken Voice (Sortunut ääni), partsong for (or mixed) male chorus, Op. 18/7 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (1:26)
  2. 2 Hail, O Moon! (Terve kuu), partsong for male chorus, Op. 18/8 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (3:17)
  3. 3 The Boat Journey (Venematka), partsong for male chorus, Op. 18/9 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (1:41)
  4. 4 Fire on the Island (Saarella palaa), partsong for male chorus, Op. 18/3 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (1:29)
  5. 5 The Woodman's Song (Metsämiehen laulu), partsong for male chorus, Op. 18/5 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (1:42)
  6. 6 The Song of my Heart (Sydämeni laulu), partsong for male chorus, Op. 18/6 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (2:27)
  7. 7 Rakastava (The Lover), for male chorus (with or without string orchestra) - Jean Sibelius & Robert von Bahr (6:36)
  8. 8 The Rapids-Shooter's Bride (Koskenlaskijan Morsiamet), for 2 vocal soloists & orchestra (or piano), Op. 33 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (8:46)
  9. 9 The Origin of Fire (Tulen synty), for voice, male chorus & orchestra, Op. 32 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (11:31)
  10. 10 The Captive Queen (Vapautettu kuningatar), cantata for chorus & orchestra, Op. 48 - Jean Sibelius & Robert von Bahr (9:33)
  11. 11 Hymnus: Natus in curas, for male chorus, Op. 21 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (4:02)
  12. 12 In the Moonlight (Kuutamolla), for male chorus - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (2:00)
  13. 13 To the Fatherland (Isänmaalle), for partsong for male chorus, Op. 18/1 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (1:54)
  14. 14 Song of Exile (Veljeni Vieralla Mailla), for male chorus - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (3:27)
  15. 15 Have You Courage? (Har du Mod?), (I) for male chorus & orchestra, Op. 31/2 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (1:45)
  16. 16 A Song for Lemminkåinen (Laulu Lemminkäiselle), for chorus & orchestra, Op. 31/1 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (4:15)
  17. 17 March of the Finnish Jaeger Battalion, for male chorus & orchestra, Op. 91/1 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (2:36)
  18. 18 To Sea (Till havs), partsong for male chorus, Op. 84/5 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (2:06)
  19. 19–20 Partsongs (2), for male chorus, Op. 108 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (6:27)
  20. 20 Finlandia Hymn (Finlandia Hymni), for chorus & organ (or harmonium), Op. 113/12 - Robert von Bahr & Jean Sibelius (2:37)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
YL Male Voice Choir Primary Artist
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