Somnium Ensemble presents a concert titled Iäisyyteen ikävä on [I long for eternity], with music by composers from Finland, the USA and Canada. The overarching theme is the human longing for something greater, a safe haven where one can feel part of the universe. Conducted by Elisa Huovinen, the concert concludes with Somnium Ensemble joining forces with the Vancouver Chamber Choir for a performance of the majestic Meren virsi [Hymn of the sea] by Toivo Kuula, celebrating the 140th anniversary of his birth. Kuula’s contemporaries Healey Willan and Amy Beach are also featured, with the rest of the programme made up of contemporary works by Marie-Claire Saindon, Caroline Shaw, Mikko Sidoroff and Yui Katada, the world premiere of a piece commissioned by the Tampere Vocal Music Festival from Alex Freeman and the powerful Canticum calamitatis maritimae by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi.
Somnium Ensemble is a Helsinki-based mixed choir made up of professional musicians and experienced amateur choral singers, focusing particularly on Romantic, early 20th-century and Renaissance choral music. The album Unesi ääni [Sound of your dream] was named Album of the Year 2019 by the Finnish Broadcasting Company, this being the first time that the award was bestowed on an album of a cappella choral music.
Somnium Ensemble, cond. Elisa Huovinen
Jaakko Mäntyjärvi (*1963): Canticum calamitatis maritimae (1997)
Amy Beach (1867-1944): Help us, o God (1903)
Yui Katada (*1985): Chie no izumi (2015)
Caroline Shaw (*1988): and the swallow (2017)
Marie-Claire Saindon (*1984): Constellation (2018) – text: Herménégilde Chiasson
Mikko Sidoroff (*1985): Nordisk vår (2018) – text: Edith Södergran
Healey Willan (1880-1968): How they so softly rest (1917) – text: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Alex Freeman (*1972): Northern April (2023) – text: Edna St. Vincent Millay; World Premiere, commissioned by Tampere Vocal Music Festival
Toivo Kuula (1883–1918): Meren virsi (1909) – text: Eino Leino
Photos: Tuomas Tenkanen, Iida Salenius