Composer of 'M'

Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)

A Finnish composer. Real name is Leevi Antti Madetoja. He was born in 17th of february, 1887 at Oulu. Although he entered Helsinki University in 1906 and obtained a MA in 1910, he also enrolled Music Institute of Helsinki from 1906 and studied under Jean Siberius from 1908 to 1910. After the graduation, he moved to Paris and stayed there until 1911 (although the largely-believed understanding that he has studied under Vincent D'indy then, was definitely wrong, because of D'indy's illness) as well as Robert Fuchs in Vienna in the same year followingly and Berlin for a short period. He became a conductor of Helsinki Philharmonic Society Orchestra in 1912 until 1914, then the conductor and the musical director of Viipuri Orchestra from 1914 to 1916. In 1916 he was appointed as a professor of music theory and history at Helsinki Music Institute (which subsequently renamed to Music Academy) until 1939. He was also a teacher of Helsinki University from 1928 until his death. He was also active as a music critic on a journal 'Helsingin sanomat' from 1916 to 1932. He was appointed as the director of Finnish Musician Society in 1933, and the chair of the national music association. Although his compositional diction is strongly influenced by Siberius, he demonstrates further modernism in terms of French-rooted orchestration. Honory prize from Finnish association of culture in 1947. He died in Helsinki on 6th of October, 1947. (2005©K.S.)

Main Works

Stage People in Pohja Region pohjalaisia, op.3/45 (1922-1923) ...Text by the composer, after A. Jarviluoma
Ballet: okon fuoko, op.58 (1927/1930)
Juha, op.2/74 (1934) ...
Text: A. Akte and the composer, after J. Aho
Orchestral symphonic suite, op.4 (1910)
Dance Scenely tänssinaky - öinen karkelokuva, op.11 (1910)
concert overture (1911)
symphonic poem 'kullervo' (1913)
symphony No.1, op.29 (1915-1916)
pastoral suite (1916)
symphony No.2 (1917-1918)
Lyric Suite yyrillinen sarja (1921-1912) {orch /vc, p}
phjalainen rapsodia (1922)
Comedy Overture huvinäytelmäalkusoitto, op.53 (1923)
symphony No.3, op.55 (1926)
Chamber piano trio (1909) {vln, vc, p}
violin sonatina (1913) {vln, p}
Piano Folksongs kansanlaulu (1912)
Small Fairytale Piece pieni satu (1915)
Memory vanha muisto (1915)
Pastoral Suite pastoraalisarja (1916)
Garden of Death kuoleman puutarha (1918-1921)
Vocal Autumnsyksy (1930)
Merikoski, op.10 (1911) {choir, orch}
Cantata for the Graduation Ceremony of Helsinki Univ.
- Helsingin yliopiston promootiokantaatti, op.22 (1914) {recit, sop, choir, orch}
Stabat mater, op.27-2 (1915) {f-choir, strings, org}
Funeral Psalm Hautalaulu (1916) {choir, orch}
Aslak Smaukka, op.37 (1917) {btn, m-choir, orch}
The Vainamoisen Sowing Vainamoisen kylvo, op.46 (1919) {sop(tnr), orch}
Trip to Egypt Pako Egyptiin, op.61 (1924) {sop, choir, orch, org}
De profundis, op.56 (1925) {choir}
Planet's Song Planeettain laulu, op.59 (1927) {sop, choir, orch}
Lux triumphans, op.63 (1928) {vo, choir, orch}
Autumn syksy (1930-1940) {vo, p}
The Playing of Vainamoisen Vainamoisen soitto, op.76 (1935) {sop, btn, choir, orch}
The Song Bouquet Lauluseppel (1938) {btn, choir, orch}

Madetoja Disc Review

"Symphonies No. 1 - No. 3 / Comedy Overture / Kullervo / The Ostrobothnians / Okon Fuoko" (Finlandia - Warner Classics : 8573-81971-2)
Jukka-Pekka Saraste (cond) Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra : Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra : Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
On the one hand, almost of all Finish composers after Siberius generation has been under the influence of Siberius-romanticism anyway, Madetoja also provides one good example. He applied further modernistic orchestration technique to it since he had once studied under D'indy in Paris. Comparing with the French school of latter romantists, his melodic diction is 'earthy' as well as the form is traditional, reflecting his native region. But his largest virtue is orchestration. Franck-rooted intellectual mood conbinating with D'indy's famous 'Songs of the people in French Mountainous region' like harmonic language is just skillful. In addition, his compositions have cool atmosphere refecting his nationality, which makes his composition highly personal among western european modernists. Because his largest merit is colorful orchestration, he demonstrates further virtue in symphonic poems rather than symphonies (like Debussy and Ravel have not clinged to produce large amount of symphonies). This 2CD set is one of 'Ultima' series. As you may know, it is a typical recent trend of price busters initiated by Naxos. It is very fortunate that we can obtain 2 CDs with beautifully peroformed by his native landers, just by paying the price for one CD.

(English Trans. 2005. 12. 28)