This concert celebrates the music of Finland, on the occasion of its 100th anniversary of independence. Sibelius’ famous Finlandia and Karelia Suite convey the vast landscape and spirited people of the country. Continuing Sibelius’ tone poem traditions, Rautavaara’s Lintukoto (Isle of Bliss) further explores the northern mysticism with ever more expansive harmonies. Saariaho, currently Finland’s most prominent composer, wrote four Leino Songs, which portray love, pride, night and peace. The program concludes with Finnish polkas and Sibelius’ patriotic cantata, Oma maa (My Native Land).
Finnish-American soprano Maria Männistö moves comfortably among a wide range of musical styles to international acclaim. An adventurous recitalist, she has performed as soloist in contemporary works by György Ligeti (Mysteries of the Macabre), Arnold Schönberg (Pierrot lunaire), Luciano Berio (Circles), Morton Feldman (Rothko Chapel) Michel van der Aa (In Circles), Giacinato Scelsi (Khoom), George Crumb (Madrigals), and Pierre Boulez (Le marteau sans maître), and has premiered works by Wayne Horvitz (Smokestack Arias), Garrett Fisher (Kocho and Kakitsubata), William O. Smith (Space in the Heart) and Tom Baker (Hunger: The Journey of Tamsen Donner).
She has appeared frequently as soloist with the Seattle Symphony, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, the Tacoma Symphony, EOS Kammeroper Köln, Seattle Modern Orchestra, and The Box is Empty. Maria has performed over 30 solo recitals in the US, Canada, Finland, Belgium, and Germany, and has performed and recorded with The Tudor Choir, The Flemish Radio Choir, Opus 7, The Byrd Ensemble, and Solaris. A dedicated member of the Seattle area Finnish community, she serves as the primary organist at the Finnish Lutheran Church, and performs regularly at Nordic festivals and events.
Maria Männistö sings “Var det en dröm” by Jean Sibelius.
Jean Sibelius, Finlandia performed by Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Kaija Saariaho: Leino Songs – performed by the Orchestra of the League of Composers, with Heather Buck, Soprano
Rautavaara’s “Lintukoto” (Isle of Bliss) · performed by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra