Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Jean Sibelius, Edvard Grieg, Sakari Oramo|
Grieg and Sibelius Songs
Genres: Pop, Classical
Whether in Sibelius' Wagnerian-in-scope song "The Maiden in the Tower" (actually a solo from his brief opera of the same name) or his ominous "Fall Evening," Finnish soprano Karita Mattila, with her grand, soaring, secure ... more »
Whether in Sibelius' Wagnerian-in-scope song "The Maiden in the Tower" (actually a solo from his brief opera of the same name) or his ominous "Fall Evening," Finnish soprano Karita Mattila, with her grand, soaring, secure voice brings a personal, storytelling, evocative stamp to the songs she sings. The Grieg songs are less emotionally complicated, and the effortlessness and expressiveness with which Mattila sings the two Solveig songs from Peer Gynt create an intimacy in wonderful contrast; her voice, scaled down, positively glistens. "Luonnotar," a 10-minute tone poem for soprano and orchestra, is the disc's centerpiece. This strange story of a "maiden of the skies" who descends into the sea and offers her knees as a place for a duck to build its nest has an ancient but hazy aura to it, and Mattila takes us through it with great intensity, building to a impressive climax which she rides easily. Conductor Sakari Oramo and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra catch the Northern lights in both voice and instruments. A fine disc of songs from a leading operatic soprano. --Robert Levine
Soothing, steady, melodic with a theme.
OperaOnline.us | Boston, MA | 03/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Otherworldly is the way I would describe this latest offering from Warner Classics featuring soprano Karita Mattila, backed by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. It takes a little getting used to, but overall this CD is increasingly hypnotic the more you listen to it - meaning, give it a try, you won't be disappointed. This offering of fourteen songs, provides the listener with a sampling of the works of Jean Sibelius and Edvard Grieg, with some truly hypnotic and brooding background music that flows in and out: deep, rich, full, haunting, leaving ample room for Ms. Mattila to display her ample vocal skills, her clear diction and her understanding of the long, slow recitative style of the Finnish-Karelian vocal tradition. In this style, long before written literature existed for the Finns, the oral tradition, known as the Karelian tradition, dominated storytelling. It is well served here. Each of the songs tells a brief story or poem as a lament, and reinforces a thematic quality of the whole, making this an easy CD to put on and listen to, with one exception which I will discuss below. I use the word "haunting" here decisively, because for the most part the musical passages are highly evocative and full, conjuring images of a mist covered mountainside, rising from the banks of a lake, perhaps at dawn, when the sun begins to come over the horizon and the traces of mist cling stubbornly before dissipating. That is the mood created here. As with every CD I review, I ask where and how would I listen to it? What mood does it create and does it sustain that mood once created? Here, as just noted, the mood is consistent, with one annoying exception contained in cut 13, Sibelius' "sancta maria, mild och naderik". Its sound borders on shrill, and the mood and effort that went into creating this otherwise wonderful CD is lost, if momentarily. Even with that one diversion, I can recommend this CD for all the rest. It is a fine effort with some truly moving orchestration throughout and top notch singing with only an occasional rough spot from Ms. Mattila."
Suttle beauty of music and voice with fabulous artistry
Music Hall | New York City | 12/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is a pure golden find in musical recording when you are being able to enjoy such a perfect performamce at home. I did listen it again and again with such a joy. The majical voice of Karita Mattila soars gently above most beautiful music. Even I do not
know Finnish language it did not mater. Everything was superb
with quiet and not showy beauty, I could close my eyes and get drawn deeply into the songs.
We are so fortunate to be able to listend this heavenly recording . I will do it again and again...."