December 8, 2023

OUT NOW - Dalia Stasevska and Lahti Symphony Orchestra release Helvi Leiviskä – Orchestral Works, Vol. 1

Conductor Dalia Stasevka who received the BBCMusic Magazine’s ‘Personality of the Year’ Award in2023 and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra present three works by the Finnish composer Helvi Leiviskä,who was Finland’s first major female composer.Initially inspired by the language of lateRomanticism – she mentioned Brahms as her favourite composer – Leiviskä developed an original, modern style that eschewed all schools, convinced that it was more important to tread one’s own path than to follow fashionable styles. While her output may seem small in terms of quantity, it more than makes up for it in the quality of the works, especially her symphonies, a genre she considered ‘the highest manifestation of music’.

This disc presents three works: the Sinfonia Brevis, a confidently crafted work reminiscent of Sibelius; the austere, restrained, melancholy and at times very dissonant Symphony No. 2, which could be called ‘tragic’; and the Suite for orchestra No. 2, which uses material from a powerfully descriptive score originally composed for a film. This recording bears witness to the ‘Leiviskä renaissance’ that has taken place in recent years, which has contributed to their discovery of a neglected but important voice in Finnish music.

Helvi Leiviskä (1902-82):

Sinfonia Brevis, Op. 30 (1962/72)
Suite for Orchestra No. 2, Op. 11 (1938)
Symphony No. 2, Op. 27 (1954)

TT: 62’56