This new release features works for childrens choir by Einojuhani Rautavaara, performed by the world-renowned Tapiola Choir and their director Pasi Hyökki. Mostly written for the Tapiola Choir, these pieces cover a wide range of topics and moods, extending from humorous nursery rhymes to more serious philosophical issues and religious solemnity. The album title piece, the one-act choral opera Marjatta matala neiti (Marjatta the Lowly Maiden), is based on a poem from the Kalevala epos. The half-hour mystery play tells the story of Marjatta who becomes impregnated after eating a lingonberry and gives birth to a son thus the Finnish mythological adaptation of the Christian story of Jesus conception and birth from a virgin. Finnish cult composer Rautavaara is one of the rare composers to have written extensive and substantial repertoire for childrens choir. More generally, his major output for mixed and for male choir has cemented his position as one of todays most popular composers of choral music.
All delightfully fresh performances in a satisfying programme. Performance **** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine,feb'12
In everything here Rautavaara not only treats the children s choir as an accomplished, professional ensemble but cleverly captures the essence of children s voices through the sprightly rhythmic writing and generally light and airy texture. It would be difficult to imagine most childrens choirs handling this music so well as the outstanding Tapiola Choir: the combination of enchanting music, exceptional vocal skill and superb recording makes this a much more rewarding disc than one might first expect. --International Record Review