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Jyväskylä Sinfonia » In English » Recordings » Reviews of Jyväskylä Sinfonia's recordings under Ville Matvejeff

Reviews of Jyväskylä Sinfonia's recordings under Ville Matvejeff


Jyväskylä Sinfonia’s new album that has been recorded together with St. Michel Strings includes Pekka Kostiainen’s Requiem, composed in 2014. The recording, released by Alba records, is conducted by Ville Matvejeef and the solo-parts are sung by Suvi Väyrynen as soprano, Ena Pongrac as mezzo-soprano, Simo Mäkinen as tenor and Tapani Plathan as bass.
Kostiainen was born in Jyväskylä in 1944, graduated from the Sibelius Academy in 1968, served as a cantor at the Pohja Finnish Parish from 1969 to 1971 and lectured at the University of Jyväskylä from 1971 to 2000. Since then he has been a freelance composer and choral conductor. He leads the Musica Choir in Jyväskylä, which has also been part of the recording of his Requiem.
The Requiem is composed as a dedication to the memory of Kostiainen’s mother. He says that while composing he paid great attention to embed the orchestra and to create contrasts, which especially is made clear in “Agnus Dei”. He drew most musical elements from the Renaissance Gregorian work by Frei Manuel Cardoso. The everlasting Latin text is interpreted by the composer’s choir in a very sensitive way and the harp combined with the Gregorian details give its music an additional warm color especially in “In paradisum”, the CD’s last piece, in which the whole instrumentation, including all soloists and the choir, comes together.


Romer’s Gap – Three Concertos is a CD released by Ondine in October 2017 and includes three new concertos by the Finnish composer Olli Virtaperko. It was recorded by the Jyväskylä Sinfonia under its conductor Ville Matvejeff.
Olli Virtaperko studied composition, the Baroque cello and early music performance practice at the University of Edinburgh and the Sibelius Academy, and additionally to that was a vocalist in one of Finland’s most popular bands Ultra Bra.
The three concertos Romer’s Gap, Multikolor and Ambrosian Delight that are presented on the recording combine various styles from Baroque to jazz and are linked together by solo parts that, according to Virtaperko, “were customized according to the technical and expressive potential of the soloists who premiered and recorded them”.
While Romer’s Gap, a concerto for electrically amplified cello, played by Perttu Kivilaakso, the lead cellist in the famous rock band Apocalyptica, contains three movements, Multikolor is a single-movement work for baritone sax, played by Joonatan Rautiola. The third concerto Ambrosian Delights is a concerto written for the knifonium, a vacuum-tub-based- analogue synthesizer created by Jonte Knif.
All in all, the album is a fascinating new release of contemporary music that gives not particularly common instruments in the classical concerto genre the chance to reveal their potential.


Waltteri Torikka, a baritone from Finland who was born in 1984, released his second album Rakkaus on October 28, 2016. Torikka is on his way to quickly establishing himself as one of the new talents in the next generation of opera singers from Finland. He was named Young Musician of the year 2014 by the Finnish Pro Musica Foundation, is the recipient of the 2013 Martti Talvela Foundation Award and has performed with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Camerata Salzburg and the Jyväskylä Sinfonia.
According to its name, the album Rakkaus consists of ten love songs, some in their original version, and some that have been translated into Finnish by Waltteri Torikka himself. In addition to that, the album also includes songs with Torikka’s own lyrics and even one of his own compositions. All songs are, like in his first album Sydän, accompanied by the Jyväskylä Sinfonia and its conductor Ville Matvejeff. The combination of the young baritone and the orchestra create new ways of interpretation and open different ways of hearing old classics like the song “nature boy” by Eden Ahbez. All in all the recording is a wonderful composition of songs and can be seen as a characterful work by Waltteri Torikka.


Sydän is the first album released by the Finnish baritone Waltteri Torikka, who was born 1984 in Tampere. Torikka himself is named to be one of the most promising new talents of the next generation of opera singers in Finland. He won the 1st male prize in the Lappeenranta National Singing Competition in 2010, is the recipient of the 2013 Martti Talvela Foundation Award or was named Young Musician of the Year 2014 by the Finnish Pro Musica Foundation. By now he has already released three CD’s, all under Warner Music Finland’s label.
Released on October 16th 2015, produced by Janne Huttunen and accompanied by conductor Ville Matvejeff and the Jyväskylä Sinfonia, Torikka’s debut album Sydän has been very successful in Finland's official album list and has even received platinum since it has sold more than 20,000 copies. It contains ten arrangements varying from musical songs like “All I ask of you” from the English Musical The Phantom of the Opera, foreign songs from Italy or Germany, Finnish classics like “Minä suojelen sinua kaikelta” from the famous Finnish Band Ultra Bra or even a self-composed song by the baritone singer himself. A homogenous and well-picked variety of pieces that reinforces the record-ng’s title Sydän in a pleasant and delightful way.


As a tribute to the internationally most well-known Finnish composer Aulis Sallinen who celebrated his 80th birthday in 2015, Ondine decided to release his complete Chamber Music (I–VIII) series, sponsored by the Finnish Music foundation.
Jouni Kaipainen, one of Sallinen’s students, describes his music as a “constant motion on the surface like waves in the ocean”. A feeling you definitely get while hearing his Chamber Music series that have been composed over several decades, starting in 1975 and going on until 2009. Although each work can be seen as an independent composition, best seen by the non-chronological order on the CD, they are all connected by a string orchestra that is found in every instalment. Although Sallinen can be counted to the contemporary classical music, he manages to let the listener not get lost and know what is going on, comparing to so many other composers from that musical époque. Sallinen himself said once, that he sees his career not as a revolution but an evolution. A statement made very clear in his Chamber Music series since its becoming spans over several years. His musical language gets more lightening and he doesn’t hesitate to range his compositions from dance music and jazz on the one hand and hard-edged modernism on the other. All in all Sallinen’s Chamber Music I–VIII series are fascinating, passionate and memorably melodic character pieces, containing dance-like as well as humorous elements.

Johanna Kurth

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