Armas Järnefelt. Kahden maan mestari [Armas Järnefelt. Maestro of two countries]

2 October 2009 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Armas Järnefelt. Kahden maan mestari
[Armas Järnefelt. Maestro of two countries]
Toim. [Ed. by] Hannu Salmi
Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2009. 438 p., ill.
ISBN 978-952-222-057-8
€ 35, hardback

The conductor and composer Armas Järnefelt (1868–1959) was a member of one of Finland’s most prominent cultural families. His sister Aino was married to the composer Jean Sibelius. From 1905 he was the conductor of the Royal Opera in Stockholm and became a Swedish citizen. In the 1930s Järnefelt served as the artistic director and conductor of the Finnish Opera, forerunner of today’s Finnish National Opera. This book covers the various stages of his life and surveys the background to his compositions, with input from a number of Finnish music experts. Järnefelt, as a composer of beautiful melodies, was a part of the National Romantic tradition; his best-known piece, Berceuse (1904), is familiar to listeners around the world in many adaptations. Influences from Richard Wagner and Jean Sibelius are often seen in Järnefelt’s works. This book provides a more complete artistic portrait of Järnefelt than the rather superficial coverage previously available. Prior to the publication of this book, the committee responsible for the editorial work was incorporated as a society dedicated to Armas Järnefelt and has released musical scores, recordings and performances of Järnefelt’s works.

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