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Baltic Music

Who knows what it is that makes the music of the Baltic region so recognizable and compelling? Many of us know and love the work of Sibelius, Finland's greatest musical export, but the countries around the Gulf of Finland have given us a wealth composers, some better known than others. In this week of shows we will explore music from a land of lakes & islands, isolated, self-contained, and full of beauty. Composers like Erkki Melartin, Leevi Madetoja, Jonas Kokkonen, Heino Eller, and Arvo Pärt, working in the long shadow of Sibelius, created violin concertos, symphonies, tone poems, choral works, and chamber works. So what is it that fascinates us about this distant northern region? Perhaps we will sum it up best with a fantastic piece by Uuno Klami's called “Aurora Borealis.”

Program 1


Vanio Haapalainen: Fidler's Portrait

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Okko Kamu



Armas Järnefelt: Berceuse for Small Orchestra

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen 

Sony 46668




Armas Järnefelt: Preludium

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Ulf Soederblom


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Erkki Melartin: Mirjamin Laulu 1

Karita Mattila, soprano; Ilmo Ranta, piano Ondine 1054


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Oskar Merikanto: Pan (Symphonic Poem)

RSO Segerstam/Saraste

Finlandia 349


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Erkki Melartin: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 60:

I.   Allegro moderato

II.   Andante assai tranquillo

John Storgards, violin; Tampere Philharmonic/Leif Segerstam Ondine 923-2

11:35, 8:29

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Erkki Melartin: Lyric Suite No.3, “Impressions de Belgique,” V. Les Cloches

Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra/Leif Segerstam Ondine 923-2




Olli Mustonen: Petite Suite: Pastorale

Tapiola Sinfonietta/Mustonen

Ondine 974-2


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Program 2


Erkki Melartin: Symphony No. 5 in A Minor, Op. 90, "Sinfonia Brevis":

III. Intermezzo: Allegro Moderato Tampere

Philharmonic Orchestra/Leonid Grin




Einar Englund: Symphony No. 4 for Strings and Percussion:

II. Tempus fugit

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Leif Segerstam


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Einar Englund: The White Reindeer, Suite for Orchestra:


III.   Reindeer Race

IV.   Funeral March

V.   Finale

Lahti Symphony/Osmo Vanska


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Einar Englund: The Great Wall of China Suite: VII. Jazz-intermezzo

Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra/Eri Klas


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Joonas Kokkonen: Il Paesaggio

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vanska 9:21

Uuno Klami: Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), Op. 38 Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgards


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Program 3


Leevi Madetoja: Symphony #1 In F, Op. 29, III. Finale: Allegro Vivace

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgårds

Ondine 1211-2




Leevi Madetoja: Symphony #3 In A, Op. 55, IV. Pesante, Tempo Moderato, Allegretto

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra /John Storgårds

Ondine 1211-2




Einojuhani Rautavaara: Suite For Strings,

I.   Presto

II.   Andante

III.    Vivace Assai (Alla Giga)

Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra/Juha Kangas Ondine 991-2

3:04, 6:44, 2:54

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Esa-Pekka Salonen: Violin Concerto,

II.   Pulse 1

III.    Pulse 2

Leila Josefowicz, violin; Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen

DG B0017521-02 3:31, 5:22



Magnus Gustaf Adolf Lindberg: Parada, for orchestra

Philharmonia Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen

Sony 89810


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Leevi Madetoja: Okon Fuoko, The Dream Sorcerer Suite, Op. 58, 3. Dance Of The Puppets

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgårds

Ondine 1211-2




Program 4

Balys Dvarionas: Elegie For Violin & String Orchestra

Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/Gidon Kremer

Teldec 063014654-2


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Pēteris Plakidis: Two Grasshopper Dances for solo violin.

I. Sad Dance

II. Happy Dance

Gidon Kremer, violin

Teldec 063014654-2 2:04,




Peteris Vasks: Symphony for Strings, “Stimmen”

II. Stimmen Des Lebens

II. Stimme Des Gewissens

Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestar/Juha Kangas

Finlandia 450997892-2


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Vytautas Barkauskas: Partita For Violin Solo, Praludium



Gidon Kremer, violin

Teldec 063014654-2

1:00, 1:28 , 1:25

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Pēteris Vasks: Musica Dolorosa

Marc Francoux, cello; Gidon Kremer, violin: Deutsche

Kammerphilharmonie Bremen

Teldec 063014654-2 14:30

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Program 5


Heino Eller: Tone Poem, "Dawn"

Scottish National Orchestra/Neeme Järvi

Chandos 8525





Eduard Tubin: Symphony No.5, Allegro energico

Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Järvi

Bis 306




Eduard Tubin: Suite from the ballet 'Kratt' Introduction

Peasant Dance

Dance of the Goblin

Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Järvi

Bis 306




Veljo Tormis: Crosswind

Svanholm Singers Tormis/Sofia Soderberg Eberhard

Toccata Classics 73




Veljo Tormis: Men's Songs, Vol. 1

No. 5: Song of the Turkish War

No. 8: Dancing Song

Svanholm Singers/Sofia Soderberg Eberhard

Toccata Classics 73

1:17, 2:37



Arvo Pärt: Fratres

Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/Gidon Kremer

Teldec 063014654-2




René Eespere: Trivium (excerpt)

Camerata Tallinn

Finlandia 11421-2


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Urmas Sisask: Maja (from Starry Sky Cycle)

Lauri Väinmaa

Finlandia 11421-2


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Arvo Pärt: Spiegel im Spiegel

Daniel Hope & Simon Mulligan

Nimbus 5631




The Exploring Music streaming website is supported by Mr. & Mrs. William Gardner Brown and the Richard P. and Susan Kiphart Family.  
You have opened up the world of Classical Music to me, where previously, it seemed too complicated.
Steffen Demeter
This is simply one of the very best radio programmes in the medium!...The study of the people, the times, and the events that inform the music we otherwise enjoy and even, heaven forbid, take for granted, brings the entire world of the music and the composer to life.
Walther Davies
There isn't a program you broadcast on Exploring Music" that isn't of interest. I find them all engaging. It is a combination of variety of subject, intellectual curiosity and your obvious enthusiasm which characterize your satisfying programs.
Michael Sanders
It’s a great way to re-engage myself with consciousness before heading off to work.
I Love this program! I am in 7th grade and I am the complete opposite of the other kids. I am 4th chair in the orchestra and I love to read. But most of all, I LOVE classical music!
Claudia Wertz
Your show has helped open my mind and heart to this world of music, and every show I hear confirms my place in music and gives me new ideas for where I'd like to go with it in the future….I grew up with classical music as a child and always held it in my heart, but I didn't have the confidence to be a good student (or a good violinist.)
Christine Anderson
Listening to you is almost interactive.You invite us in with so many well modulated dramatic and informative comments, enticing, enthusiastic interpretations, and coherent, beautiful presentations. It's a privilege to follow you into the musical space you create.
Sally Rosenbaum
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