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Classical - To be released October 4, 2019 | Alba

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Classical - Released September 20, 2019 | Alba

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The young, rising pianist Janne Oksanen performs the complete piano works of Toivo Kuula on his debut album. His playing on this record is powerful, rich and colourful thus shedding light to these rare piano gems and giving them the interpretation they deserve. The album includes Kuula’s best known pieces like The Wedding March, La Folia and Fairytale Pictures as well as many rare pieces. To this day Toivo Kuula (1883-1918) stands as one of the most significant Finnish composers. His music is poetic, epic and deep and it showcases a very sophisticated musical taste and tonal language. In his lifetime he was hailed as Finland’s finest composer after Sibelius. Kuula’s music has been said to entail rare power and raw energy, which exposes the listener for self-reflection. As a whole these 20 pieces portray a versatile palette of different stages of Kuula the composer. Included are unforgettable melodies, heartbreaking stories and top-class pianism. Oksanen (born 1994) talks about the recording: ”The album manifested itself as a result of a snowball-effect. Initially I was supposed to play Kuula’s piano works only once at Sibafest 2018. The show raised a lot of interest and I ended playing it in 7-8 cities. I received so much positive feedback from these concerts that I understood there was need for a record: it was almost inevitable to do it just for the sake of cultural service.” © Alba Records
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Classical - Released September 6, 2019 | Alba

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Cellist Marko Ylönen has recorded a beautiful double album containing Bach’s six suites for solo cello. On the album, Ylönen wants to emphasize the way in which the different series work together in a dialogue. That is why he does not play them in their numerical order but creates an experience that takes the listener from the world of passion in the fifth series to the joyful tones of the last sixth series. The clear musical structure and the affect of the musical characters and gestures combine in Ylönen’s performance. His interpretation of the Bach suites tells the listener something invaluable, touching and timeless. © Alba Records Marko Ylönen (born 1966) has occupied numerous roles in the course of his career: as soloist and principal cellist, in quartets, trios and duos, as Artistic Director of several festivals and as a teacher. He has also reaped success in many Finnish and international competitions and recorded a large volume of staple and contemporary cello literature. His concert tours have taken him across Europe, to the USA, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and he has recorded on the Ondine, Finlandia, BIS, Alba and other labels. A regular soloist with most of the Finnish orchestras, Marko Ylönen has also appeared with the Camerata Salzburg, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestras of Adelaide, Melbourne and Stavanger, and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. Among the conductors he has worked with are Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Juha Kangas, John Storgårds, Hannu Lintu, Susanna Mälkki, Ben Wallfisch, Klaus Mäkelä, Sakari Oramo, Moshe Atzmon, Alexander Vedernikov and Olli Mustonen. He has given recitals at such prestigious venues as the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York and the Kleine Zaal of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. In chamber repertoire he has performed with many of the world’s greatest musicians at festivals in Finland and elsewhere. He has been Professor of chamber music at the Sibelius Academy since 2009. His own teachers were Csaba Szilvay, Heikki Rautasalo and Heinrich Schiff, and he plays a Bartolomeo Cristofori cello from the 1720s.
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Chamber Music - Released August 23, 2019 | Alba

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On this album violinist Kaija Saarikettu and pianist Juhani Lagerspetz perform Paavo Heininen’s Boston Sonatas. The project began with a commission from Boston for a violin sonata, prompted by Kaija Saarikettu’s recording of Heininen’s Sonata Op. 25. A short while earlier Heininen had visited Boston. Even though he is a proponent of absolute music, the things that he saw and experienced in the city became the inspiration for his thought processes. Once the Sonata that was commissioned was finished, Heininen discovered that there was material left over. So he wrote a second Sonata, and since the first came to be casually referred to as the ‘Boston Sonata’, the second one became the ‘Boston Variations’. This was followed by the ‘Boston Ballad’. These are all interlinked in that ideas presented in one sonata may be developed and come to a culmination in another sonata. Paavo Heininen (born 1938) is a composer, essayist, Professor and pianist. He has also had a long career as a Professor of Composition at the Sibelius Academy. During his career Heininen has written orchestral works and vocal music, two operas, some ”jazzy” works for big band, concertos, six symphonies and numerous chamber and soloworks. In the last decades he has been especially prolific composing duo sonatas, quartets and quintets. He has also written works that cover an entire concert program. Kaija Saarikettu’s (born 1957) success in violin competitions marked the beginning of her career. Since then, she has performed extensively at her own concerts, as a soloist of orchestras and as a chamber musician in most European countries, the United States, Japan and Russia. Saarikettu’s interest in the music of our time and collaboration with composers has resulted in a large number of pieces written for her. She has premiered and recorded several violin concertos as well as solo and chamber music compositions. Saarikettu has performed as a soloist for numerous international orchestras in addition to most of the Finnish orchestras. Since 1995 she has been a Professor of Violin Music at the Sibelius Academy. In recent years, Saarikettu has also dived into conducting. Juhani Lagerspetz (born 1959) began studying the piano at age six at the Turku Conservatory. He continued his studies at the Sibelius Academy and the Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Conservatory in Russia. Lagerspetz has won competitions in Finland and placed well in international competitions too. His success has led him to perform in Scandinavia, Europe, Japan, Russia, the USA, South Korea, Chile and Brazil. Lagerspetz has collaborated with many conductors and orchestras world wide and he plays regularly as a soloist with Finnish symphony orchestras. He is also active as a chamber musician and has performed with some of the leading instrumentalists of the world, and in numerous chamber music festivals. © Alba Records
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Chamber Music - Released July 5, 2019 | Alba

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Albums pairing Claude Debussy's String Quartet in G minor and Maurice Ravel's String Quartet in F major have been quite common for decades, and due to this well-established programming practice, dating back to the days of the double-sided LP, the works are widely regarded as a complementary set, beyond the real musical similarities between them. However, for this Alba hybrid SACD release, the Stenhammar Quartet makes the Debussy and Ravel quartets serve as bookends for Germaine Tailleferre's little-known String Quartet, a work that shares much of their rich chromatic harmonies and twilight moods, but is considerably shorter in duration, more modest in its sonatina-like form, and far less frequently performed. Like Debussy's and Ravel's quartets, Tailleferre's String Quartet was her only work in the genre, and listeners might even feel it's all of a piece with them, even though it was composed in 1919, 26 years after Debussy wrote his and 16 years after Ravel. Yet by this late date, Tailleferre had generally eschewed impressionism, and as a member of the group Les Six, brought a certain wit and playfulness to her quartet that is notable in the third movement. Including Tailleferre with Debussy and Ravel is a terrific idea that provides a fresh perspective on their music and adds value to the running time of the usual Debussy/Ravel matchup.
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Classical - Released July 5, 2019 | Alba

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Classical - Released July 5, 2019 | Alba

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Classical - Released June 14, 2019 | Alba

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Classical - Released June 7, 2019 | Alba

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Lounge - Released May 31, 2019 | Alba

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Classical - Released May 17, 2019 | Alba

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Rock - Released April 12, 2019 | Alba

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Chamber Music - Released March 22, 2019 | Alba

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Chamber Music - Released March 15, 2019 | Alba

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Classical - Released March 15, 2019 | Alba

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Musical Theatre - Released March 15, 2019 | Alba

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Classical - Released March 8, 2019 | Alba

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Classical - Released February 1, 2019 | Alba

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Classical - Released February 1, 2019 | Alba

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Classical - Released February 1, 2019 | Alba

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