RECORDINGS OF THE HELSINKI CHAMBER CHOIR AND FINNISH RADIO CHAMBER CHOIR

 

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Reports 

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Helsinki Chamber Choir
Nils Schweckendiek, conductor

BIS Records, April 2019

Nine choral works by Finnish composer Perttu Haapanen, among others Kullervo Clusters, ...sino phonia, paronomasia and Readymade Alice.


Towards the Light 

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Helsinki Chamber Choir
Nils Schweckendiek, conductor

ICSM Records, March 2019

New Finnish a cappella music: 

Einojuhani Rautavaara: Missa a cappella, Our Joyfuls't Feast
Lotta Wennäkoski: Valossa, Ommel
Paola Livorsi: Lamenti


Kevät kerran on koittava – Spring will come

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BIS-2442, November 2018

From a 21st-century perspective, Sibelius may appear to stand more or less alone in the history of Finnish music. It is easy to forget that he could not have fulfilled his artistic potential if his environment had not been conducive to musical creativity. But much of the music that was part of that environment has been almost completely forgotten, often because its aesthetic didn’t accord with the prevailing nationalist trends of the late 19th century. In this programme of choral works, Nils Schweckendiek and his Helsinki Chamber Choir guide us through some 80 years of Finnish music for choir, from the period when the country formed part of the Russian Empire, as the Grand Duchy of Finland. It was during this time that a Finnish nationalist movement began to take form, in opposition towards the political and cultural dominance of Russia and Sweden respectively. This development can be traced in the way the idea of Spring – a staple in the songs of the Nordic countries – changes from a sense of joy at the end to the hardships of winter to a metaphor for liberation from political oppression. Another result was the Fennicization towards the end of the 19th century, during which many popular Swedish and German-language songs were translated into Finnish and the originals in effect suppressed – a case in point being the earliest piece on the disc, F. A. Ehrström’s Svanen (The Swan, 1833), which has had it’s original Swedish text restored for this recording. 

Read more and listen to samples at BIS website

 


Riemuitkaamme! - A Finnish Christmas

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Helsinki Chamber Choir
Nils Schweckendiek, conductor
Jan Lehtola, organ

Riemuitkaamme! is an imaginative and unconventional selection of choral music associated with Christmas as it is celebrated in Finland. Several of the pieces are by Finnish composers – Sibelius, Rautavaara and Madetoja, to name a few – while others have become part of the Christmas traditions of the country despite their international background. Among these Berlioz’ The Shepherds’ Farewell and Tchaikovsky’s Christ, when a Child… are quite late additions compared to the medieval hymns Puer natus in Bethlehem, Ecce novum gaudium and Angelus emittitur. All three of these were included in the collection Piae cantiones from 1582, the oldest Finnish music publication. Here, they are performed in settings by various composers from different countries and eras – forming a kind of soundtrack of Christmases past and present, distant and close. Contemporary music forms an important part of the activities of the Helsinki Chamber Choir and Nils Schweckendiek, and true to form, the team includes a world premiere recording in their celebrations: Aattoilta, by the Canadian-born composer Matthew Whittall. 

BIS Records, BIS-2322. Total playing time 73,50 min.

 


Northlands - Music by Matthew Whittall

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A compilation of impressive choral and orchestral music by Matthew Whittall, born in Canada but settled in Finland. 
Yle (Finnish Broadcasting Company) Recording of the Year 2017 

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Helsinki Chamber Choir
Tapiola Sinfonietta
Nils Schweckendiek, conductor
Tommi Hyytinen, horn

Julia Héeger, soprano
Chloé Dufresne and James Kahane, recitation
Antti Suoranta, percussion

Alba Records ABCD 416

Northlands (Hyytinen, RSO, Schweckendiek)

ad puram annihilationem meam (HKK, Heéger, Dufresne, Kahane, Suoranta, Schweckendiek)

The return of light (HKK, TS, Schweckendiek)

 


Bergman - Choral Works 1936-2000

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In his later years often described as the grand old man of Finnish modernism, Erik Bergman (1911–2006) was among the first in Finland to use compositional methods such as twelve-tone technique, serial music, choral Sprechgesang and aleatory counterpoint. His speciality was choral music, and a large part of his huge production involves a choir in some form. This recording focuses primarily on his works for mixed choir that have not appeared on disc before, and gives a broad picture of his production for the medium over a period of more than 60 years. 

Born to a Swedish-speaking family, many of Bergman’s settings were of poems in Swedish, but he was a true internationalist and this two-disc set also includes works with texts in Italian, Norwegian, English, German, and, naturally, Finnish. These are here performed by the Helsinki Chamber Choir, Finland’s only professional chamber choir, under its artistic director Nils Schweckendiek.

Helsinki Chamber Choir
Nils Schweckendiek, conductor
Riko Eklundh
Tuomas Katajala
Piia Komsi
Markus Nieminen
Tuula Paavola
Herman Wallén

BIS-2252 2CD, April 2017

Total time 112'03

 

Read more on BIS website


Beat Furrer: Works for Choir and Ensemble

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Helsinki Chamber Choir
Uusinta Ensemble
Nils Schweckendiek

enigma I–VI (2006–2013)
voices — still for mixed choir and ensemble (2001)

…cold and calm and moving for flute, harp, violin, viola and cello (1992)

Toccata Classics, August 2016

TOCC0360

 

Reviews: GramophoneThe GuardianSunday Times 100 best records of the year, Yle (Finnish)HBL (Swedish)Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik Bestenliste (German)

 

"…a hugely attractive collection …this immaculate, Finnish-sourced disc"

– Andrew Clements, The Guardian 28.7.2016

 

“This beautifully produced disc of choral music…”

Peter Quantrill, Gramophone November 2016

 

Read more on the Toccata Classics website

 


Puumala: Anna Liisa

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Veli-Matti Puumala

Anna Liisa, opera in three acts

 

Helena Juntunen, soprano
Jorma Hynninen, baritone
Tanja Kauppinen, soprano
Ville Rusanen, baritone
Sanna Kurki-Suonio, ethno mezzo-soprano
Juha Hostikka, tenor
Anu Hostikka, soprano
Jouni Kokora, bass-baritone
Tapiola Sinfonietta
Helsinki Chamber Choir
Jan Söderblom, conductor

 

Ondine, May 2015, 2CD

ODE 1254-2D

 

Reviews: GramophoneYle
 

Find more info on the Ondine website


Magnus Lindberg: GRAFFITI - Seht die Sonne
 

Magnus Lindberg:

GRAFFITI

Seht die Sonne

 

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Helsinki Chamber Choir
Sakari Oramo, conductor

Ondine, March 2010
ODE 1157-2

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RADIO CHAMBER CHOIR RECORDINGS:

True & False Unicorn

Einojuhani Rautavaara:
True & False Unicorn

Finnish Radio Chamber Choir (Helsinki Chamber Choir)
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Timo Nuoranne, conductor
Mia Huhta, soprano
Jaakko Kortekangas, baritone
Säde Rissanen, alto
Petteri Salomaa, baritone

Ondine, May 2003
ODE 1020-2

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Tuo armon valkokyyhky

Christmas Carols

Finnish Radio Chamber Choir (Helsinki Chamber Choir)
Timo Nuoranne, conductor
Johanna Rusanen, soprano

Ondine, October 2001
ODE 985-2

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Sacred Works for Mixed Chorus

Einojuhani Rautavaara:
Sacred Works for Mixed Chorus

Finnish Radio Chamber Choir (Helsinki Chamber Choir)
Timo Nuoranne, conductor

Ondine, September 1999
ODE 935-2

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Piae Cantiones

Early Finnish Vocal Music

Finnish Radio Chamber Choir (Helsinki Chamber Choir)
Timo Nuoranne, conductor

Ondine, November 1998
ODE 918-2

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Vigilia

Einojuhani Rautavaara: Vigilia

Finnish Radio Chamber Choir (Helsinki Chamber Choir)
Timo Nuoranne, conductor
Pia Freund, soprano
Jyrki Korhonen, bass
Topi Lehtipuu, tenor
Lilli Paasikivi, mezzo-soprano
Petteri Salomaa, baritone

Ondine, January 1998
ODE 910-2

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Works for Mixed Chorus

Einojuhani Rautavaara: Works for Mixed Chorus

Finnish Radio Chamber Choir (Helsinki Chamber Choir)
Eric-Olof Söderström, conductor

Ondine, October 1995
ODE 851-2

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