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Die Loreley, Opera in Two Acts (Sung in the original German)
Soile Isokoski, soprano
Raimo Sirkia, tenor
Cornelius Hauptmann, bass
Riikka Rantanen, mezzo
Topi Lehtipuu, tenor
Arttu Kataja, bass
Dominante Choir/Seppo Murto
Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vanska
Finland's grandest opera (sung in the original German) recorded for the first time. (The booklet includes a complete translation of the libretto.)
With Osmo Vänskä conducting and the leading role sung by Finland's latest operatic megastar Soile Isokoski.
For most of us, Finnish music begins with Sibelius. But there was naturally a musical culture for Sibelius to grow up in. The leading musical figure in Finland at the time of Sibelius' birth was, undoubtedly, Fredrik Pacius (1809-1891). Pacius was actually born in Hamburg and he studied the violin with no less a figure than Louis Spohr before settling in Helsinki as lecturer in music in 1835.
Despite Pacius's German origins, he is considered the father of Finnish music and is even responsible for the Finnish national anthem. Pacius may have made his major contribution to Finnish music as a teacher and organizer of music but he was also a thoroughly competent composer in the spirit of Mendelssohn and his teacher Spohr.
His compositional legacy includes two operas. His second attempt, Die Loreley, is opera in the Grand tradition. Despite being an almost exact contemporary of Wagner it was not from Bayreuth that he sought inspiration. Rather, it was the older French tradition of opera that he followed.
Die Loreley, composed in 1887 to a German libretto, is a splendidly romantic work set in "Loreley country" with treacherous rocks in the Rhine at evening, storms and lightning, passion and betrayal.