Not Sibelius

Uuno Klami : Kalevala Suite, V. The forging of the Sampo
Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Petri Sakari
Chandos Classics: CHAN 10427 X

From the Kalevala Suite of Uuno Klami (1900–1961), via the Comedy Overture and Third Symphony  of Leevi Madetoja (1887–1947) and the Cello Concerto of Joonas Kokkonen (1921–1996), to the mystic angel music of Einojuhani Rautavaara (b. 1928) — a sample of Finnish music that isn’t by Sibelius.

Composer biographies

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1 thought on “Not Sibelius

  1. Re: Terhenniemi (meaning of)

    I was right in thinking during today’s session that “niemi” was a topographical term — but rather far out in (mis)remembering it as meaning lake or river. It actually, I now discover, means cape, headland, or peninsula. And “terhen” is an old Finnish word for mist or fog. So I would guess that Terhenniemi means something like “Cape Mist” or “Foggy Headland”. I seem to recall that in the bits of the Kalevala that I’ve read such coastal features figure fairly typically, so I’d be prepared to bet a modest sum on that being an appropriate translation.

    Incidentally, I wonder if Klami had, as well as the Kalevala, the following passage also in mind?

    From Yökehrääjä (The nightjar) by Eino Leino * (1878-1926)

    THE HONEYMOON OF THE CRICKET (1897) — original text below at #

    What is that song floating on the lake,
    a graceful melody in its wake?
    “A craft is riding the billows,
    a honeymoon boat on the waters.”

    Whose bride there travels, I want to know,
    the wedding fires in the dusk that glow?
    “It’s cricket’s craft, small boats in tow,
    and cricket’s chosen sits in the bow.”

    Who is the sweetheart of the cricket?
    “Ladybird from alder forest.”
    Where leads the journey of the sweethearts?
    “To the ridge on that high island,
    in Terhenniemi highland!”

    * Yes, it does sound an unlikely name, doesn’t it, but he apparently preferred it to his real one of Armas Einar Leopold Lönnbohm…

    There are performances of settings of this poem at


    Mikä on laulu lainehilla,
    soitto aalloilla sorea?
    “Laiva aaltoja ajavi,
    häävene vesiä käypi.”

    Kenen on kulta kulkemassa
    kenen on häätulet hämyssä?
    “Sirkan on vesillä venho,
    sirkan tuoma tuhtopuullta.”

    Kuka on kulta heinäsirkan?
    “Lepinkäinen leppälintu”
    Minne matka miekkosien?
    “Saarelle selälliselle,
    terhenniemen tanterelle!”

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