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Hyperion Records

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Evening, wild ducks (1901) by Bruno Liljefors (1860-1939)
Thielska Galleriet, Stockholm
Track(s) taken from CDH55471
Recording details: June 2001
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: April 2002
Total duration: 1 minutes 28 seconds

'Compellingly shaped and hugely accomplished recital' (BBC Music Magazine)

'One of the very finest selections of Sibelius’s songs … Karnéus’s mellow, heartfelt mezzo is perceptively accompanied by Drake' (BBC Music Magazine) » More

'If you want a single disc to demonstrate the richness and variety of Sibelius's songs, you will not do better than this. Karnéus's voice is glorious' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Rich in variety and entirely satisfying as a recital' (International Record Review)

'Inspired performances … it is a magic partnership, giving fresh insights in every song' (The Guardian)

'Highly recommended to lovers of Sibelius's music who, like me, were unaware of this treasure' (The Sunday Times)

'A wonderful, thoroughly recommendable album … this disc receives my highest recommendation' (Fanfare, USA)

'Julius Drake has all the precision of nuance and sensitivity to rhythm and balance that the piano parts demand. Karnéus is utterly compelling' (The Evening Standard)

'Enveloppée dans le piano généreux et coloré de Julius Drake, Katarina Karnéus interprète ces Mélodies avec émotion et simplicité’ (Classica, France)

Illalle, Op 17 No 6
First line:
Oi, terve! tumma, vieno tähtiilta
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Opus 17 set was written at various times between 1892 and 1902, and includes Illalle (‘To evening’, 1898), one of his rare settings of Finnish and among the most lyrical and affecting of his songs†. It is sometimes sung in Swedish too, as Om kvällen. There is great purity of line, a complete simplicity and a total harmony of means and ends. The accompaniment is confined to the simplest filling in of harmonies, and the setting of the language is guided by its own verbal music. It needs no special knowledge of the language to see that Sibelius alters his approach to the voice when setting Finnish. The vocal line seems to carry so much of the music of the language itself: to hear Illalle given in Swedish is quite a different experience. Finnish is a highly inflected language, rich in vowel sounds, and these songs reflect Sibelius’s growing confidence in handling it. Right up to the early 1890s Sibelius still made small mistakes in writing Finnish.

from notes by Robert Layton © 2002

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