||LEEVI MADETOJA - Symphonies 1 and 3 - Okon Fuoko Suite - Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra -
John Storgards (Conductor) - 0761195121122 - Released: January 2014 - Ondine ODE1211-2|
Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947) was a Finnish composer, therefore comparisons of his music with that of Jean Sibelius are obviously noticeable, and made even more apparent when you consider that he
actually studied with Sibelius for two years. Add a bit of Lars-Erik Larsson (another Nordic composer) to the mix and you get a better picture of Madetoja's sound. The writing is clear, concise, and bereft of exaggeration or
gratuitous aggrandizement. Each note serves a purpose in the grand scheme of things. His music is not led by melody, but rather flows freely and leads to melodic outbursts of refined beauty. The Symphony
No. 1 in F Major, Op. 29 is full of such moments and ends with a triumphant march episode that, through its humility, creates even more of an impact. The slow movements of both symphonies reveal
Madetoja's lyrical and narrative talents, as they evoke strong imagery of wide open landscapes, with lone wind instruments cast upon wafting strings. This is music that has much to say but doesn't beat you over the head
with it. If you like Sibelius, Nielsen, Grieg, Larsson etc ... you will fully appreciate the music of Leevi Madetoja.