Hedvig Paulig, soprano (winner of the 2011 International Sibelius Singing Competition) Folke Gräsbeck, piano
‘The soprano Hedvig Paulig… is blessed with all that a singer desires: a voice full of beauty, precise intuition, a technique that seemingly easily takes her to clear high tones without as much as a blink as well as to the low tones, in which her voice turns full and warm. Paulig is also a real actress who expresses emotions in her songs from humor to mystic and grief. Her whole performance is full of charm…’ (Noam Ben Zeev for Haaretz Newspaper, May 2015)
‘The advocacy of Folke Gräsbeck [in Sibelius’s solo piano music] outstrips that of almost all earlier exponents.’ (Richard Whitehouse, International Record Review, May 2011)
A selection of 20 songs by Sibelius, including:
Den första kyssen [The First Kiss], Op. 37 No. 1
Var det en dröm? [Was it a Dream?], Op. 37 No. 4
Flickan kom ifrån sin älsklings möte [The Tryst], Op. 37 No. 5
Illalle [To Evening], Op. 17 No. 6
Demanten på marssnön [The Diamond on the March Snow], Op. 36 No. 6
Sleeve note by Ron Weidberg in English, Finnish and Swedish Song texts in original language and English translation
First release – recorded 2016
Catalogue number: SCD 001
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A disc of songs and folk song arrangements by Martin Wegelius has been published by Fuga (FUGA-9410).
Wegelius – who founded the Helsinki Music Institute (forerunner of today’s Sibelius Academy) in 1882, was Sibelius’s teacher there from 1885 until 1889. Wegelius was a versatile musician – a pianist, composer, conductor and critic – who had studied in Vienna, Leipzig and Munich and who would direct the Music Institute until his death. He was to prove a good friend to Sibelius and take a kindly, even paternal interest in his development. Wegelius was a capable administrator who could take the credit for many international musicians (including Busoni) coming to Helsinki. He was also an obsessive Wagnerian, with a particular fondness for Die Meistersinger; he wrote a 323-page biography of Wagner and also established the first Finnish Wagner Society. His music has hitherto been very sparsely represented on disc.
The new recording features two of Finland’s foremost young singers, the soprano Hedwig Paulig and the baritone Tuomas Lehtinen, accompanied on the piano by Gustav Djupsjöbacka. Some of the items also feature a choral part, here performed by the Spira Ensemble.