Author Topic: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)  (Read 14577 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« on: December 22, 2008, 03:20:57 PM »
Perhaps the most important Finnish composer after Sibelius (whom he pre-deceased) I don't seem to recall much discussion on Madetoja. All three symphonies are excellent in my view as is the Ostrobothnians Suite. Petri Sakari and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra provide excellent performances on Chandos. Arvo Volmer (who recorded the Tubin symphonies) also has recorded a Madetoja series on Alba with the Oulu Symphony Orchestra. He is a composer whose music I often return to. It is full of atmosphere, is moving in places and has a real feel for nature.

Any other admirers of Madetoja?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2008, 09:24:34 AM »
Will post later in this thread ;D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2008, 10:04:20 AM »
Will post later in this thread ;D

Thanks Colin,

Have been listening today to my favourite Madetoja CD. On the Alba label it has the only version I think of the moving "Tragic episode and Rapids shooting from the opera Juha" with Symphony No 2 (probably the best one) and the very enjoyable Ostrobothnians Suite (Volmer, Oulo SO). A great CD. There is a budget recording of the Symphony on Warner Apex. Probably the best starting point for Madetoja.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online Christo

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2008, 02:36:32 PM »
I do hope we will meet more than just some odd BSE here!  :D
(PS1: How come we all have been playing the music of the same composers, for so many years?)  ::)
(PS2: Will post later in this thread myself)  ;)
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2008, 02:56:50 PM »
I do hope we will meet more than just some odd BSE here!  :D

Sorry to disappoint you, Johan!  ;)

Fortunately Madetoja is a composer I still have to listen to...
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2008, 04:29:10 PM »
I do hope we will meet more than just some odd BSE here!  :D
(PS1: How come we all have been playing the music of the same composers, for so many years?)  ::)
(PS2: Will post later in this thread myself)  ;)

Re Qu 1) Yes, it's most weird. A phenomena I have to grapple with. I will think about it  ;D


In the meantime here is some Madetoja on youtube:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mAvOLpCwu3M
« Last Edit: December 23, 2008, 05:10:54 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2008, 06:58:08 PM »
I do hope we will meet more than just some odd BSE here!  :D
(PS1: How come we all have been playing the music of the same composers, for so many years?)  ::)
(PS2: Will post later in this thread myself)  ;)

"just some odd BSE.." ??? ::)

Not so much of that ;D  We are not "just some" of anything. Nor are we "odd"!

Can't speak for the rest of the human race though :)

As to your PS1 Question. I used to think that I was the only person in the world who had my particular musical tastes. Now I know differently, the world has suddenly become a lot smaller ;D

Online Christo

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2008, 01:08:48 AM »
"just some odd BSE.." ??? ::)

Not so much of that ;D  We are not "just some" of anything. Nor are we "odd"!

Please, don't take it too personal! How could I possibly have been referring to you;)

As for Madetoja, my favourite disc still is - but I regret to say I only own one CD from the great Alba cycle with his complete orchestral output, and not the one Jeffrey seems to be cherishing - the one that introduced him for me. I mean Petri Sakari conducting the Icelandic SO on a Chandos CD with the Third Symphony, Okon Fuoko and Ostrobothnians Suites.

                   

Those early loves - back in 1994 or so this disc introduced me to a new composer with a performance that also convinced me of the qualities of the state of music-making in Iceland and which become a personal favourite - never die, as you all know.  :)

What I am curious about, is the Alba series under Arvo Volmer. I think I recall there are 5 CDs in total, but I only have one of them (have to dig out that one). Which Alba CDs should I consider buying as well?  ::)
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Grazioso

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2008, 04:54:07 AM »
Any other admirers of Madetoja?

Yes! His symphonies are a highlight of the early 20th-century symphonic literature and are unjustly forgotten. I have the cycles from Sakari on Chandos and Volmer on Alba and have gotten much pleasure from both. I could easily see these works becoming, in a more just world, standard repertory pieces: they're very tuneful, concise, well-structured, and have the added benefit of being substantially varied from one another. These works combine the best of Nordic and French musical qualities and should appeal to lovers of either.

A little info about him:

http://www.fennicagehrman.fi/comp_madetoja.htm
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Offline UB

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2008, 12:53:10 PM »
I was introduced to Madetoja some 20 years ago through a beautifully recorded 3 LP set of his orchestral music with Segestam, Kamu, Rautio, and Panula conducting various orchestras. At the time I thought it was good for the period but nothing special. In reviewing again over the last few day I find I still feel the same.

If I was going to suggest a Finnish composer from that time it would be Aarre Merikanto. I think he some excellent music. Especially interesting is those pieces written during the 1920s. If it is still available Finlandia ACD 349 covers almost all the known music from this period.
I am not in the entertainment business. Harrison Birtwistle 2010

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2008, 06:07:22 PM »
Please, don't take it too personal! How could I possibly have been referring to you;)

As for Madetoja, my favourite disc still is - but I regret to say I only own one CD from the great Alba cycle with his complete orchestral output, and not the one Jeffrey seems to be cherishing - the one that introduced him for me. I mean Petri Sakari conducting the Icelandic SO on a Chandos CD with the Third Symphony, Okon Fuoko and Ostrobothnians Suites.

                   

Those early loves - back in 1994 or so this disc introduced me to a new composer with a performance that also convinced me of the qualities of the state of music-making in Iceland and which become a personal favourite - never die, as you all know.  :)

What I am curious about, is the Alba series under Arvo Volmer. I think I recall there are 5 CDs in total, but I only have one of them (have to dig out that one). Which Alba CDs should I consider buying as well?  ::)


Johan,

I'd suggest ABCD 132 as it has I think the only recording of the endearing 'Tragic episode and Rapids shooting scene from Juha' and a very good performance of the wonderful Symphony No 2. Having said that you can't go wrong with Sakari and the Iceland SO on Chandos.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2009, 08:56:38 AM »
Madetoja's Ostrobothnians Suite would also be an excellent introduction to his music. The CD below on the Finlandia label is an excellent introduction to him:

"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2009, 11:30:19 AM »
Have been listening to Symphony No 3. I had forgotten what a fine work it is - shows the influence of Sibelius, but also a gallic influence:

"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online Christo

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2009, 11:59:33 AM »

Johan,

I'd suggest ABCD 132 as it has I think the only recording of the endearing 'Tragic episode and Rapids shooting scene from Juha' and a very good performance of the wonderful Symphony No 2. Having said that you can't go wrong with Sakari and the Iceland SO on Chandos.

There is something funny about a title combining tragedy with rapids shooting.  8) At least, it cannot compete with e.g. Death and Transfiguration, Intimations of Immortality or Night Ride and Sunrise0:)

I hope to acquire the whole series, this being No. 1 in a series of which I only own No. 5. The Second Symphony is his best IMHO, and I love it especially for its wonderful first movement "solitude" (the shepherd boy's pastoral, a reference to Madetoja's own youth). And, of course, because of David Hurwitz' warm recommendation.

« Last Edit: January 03, 2009, 12:01:49 PM by Christo »
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2009, 09:42:57 AM »
There is something funny about a title combining tragedy with rapids shooting.  8) At least, it cannot compete with e.g. Death and Transfiguration, Intimations of Immortality or Night Ride and Sunrise0:)

I hope to acquire the whole series, this being No. 1 in a series of which I only own No. 5. The Second Symphony is his best IMHO, and I love it especially for its wonderful first movement "solitude" (the shepherd boy's pastoral, a reference to Madetoja's own youth). And, of course, because of David Hurwitz' warm recommendation.



Yes, it is a rather weird title I must say! I love the very end - epilogue type bit of Symphony No 2 - very moving, especially as it is dedicated to Madetoja's brother, Killed in the Finnish Civil War. It is my favourite too and I have been playing it a lot.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2009, 06:40:59 PM »
I know that I promised to post on this thread and that I haven't done so yet ;D

I will....when I have time to refresh my memory of Madetoja's music and compare him with Melartin :)

New Year's celebrations and all that you know ;D

Online Christo

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2009, 02:49:11 AM »
Yes, it is a rather weird title I must say! I love the very end - epilogue type bit of Symphony No 2 - very moving, especially as it is dedicated to Madetoja's brother, Killed in the Finnish Civil War. It is my favourite too and I have been playing it a lot.

I could no longer withstand your plea: I ordered for a copy and will soon find out myself how the rapid shooting compares with the elegy for his brother.   :)
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2009, 06:08:16 AM »
I could no longer withstand your plea: I ordered for a copy and will soon find out myself how the rapid shooting compares with the elegy for his brother.   :)

The rapid shooting is just great  :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2009, 10:26:15 AM »
Just listened again to the Chandos version of the 3rd Symphony coupled with The Ostrobothnians Suite, the Okon Fuoko Suite No.1 and the Comedy Overture.

I like The Ostrobothnians Suite; it is colourful, attractive music. The Symphony, on the other hand, made little impression on me, I fear.
Pleasant music-no doubt-but ultimately unmemorable to my ears. A certain undeniable Gallic charm but no bite, not enough sinew to the music for my tastes :(

I shall give the 2nd Symphony a go later and report back. I shall also give my Melartin symphonies another listen. If I recall correctly they made more impression on me.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2009, 12:02:33 PM »
Just listened again to the Chandos version of the 3rd Symphony coupled with The Ostrobothnians Suite, the Okon Fuoko Suite No.1 and the Comedy Overture.

I like The Ostrobothnians Suite; it is colourful, attractive music. The Symphony, on the other hand, made little impression on me, I fear.
Pleasant music-no doubt-but ultimately unmemorable to my ears. A certain undeniable Gallic charm but no bite, not enough sinew to the music for my tastes :(

I shall give the 2nd Symphony a go later and report back. I shall also give my Melartin symphonies another listen. If I recall correctly they made more impression on me.

I'll be interested to hear what you make of Symphony No 2.A great work in my view.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).