In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
This Finnish childrens choir is considered one of the best in the world with an emphasis on both individuality and the singer's ability to blend with the other voices. The basic element is the young singer's own voice, moulded by the vernacular. The ideal sound is that of a stringed instrument: it is warm, light and translucent, the phrasing is musical and the singing gives the impression of being easy and effortless. But the ideal sound of the Choir is not just one closely-defined concept; it is a combination of different choral timbres and is always adapted to the music being performed.
Ever since the 1960s the Choir has been associating with many of Finland's leading composers. The result has been new repertoire of a high standard, free of all the mannerism of "songs for children". This collaboration has not been confined merely to premiering new works but has involved active participation in the process of composition.
Since winning the Silver Rose Bowl, the main prize in the prestigious BBC Let the Peoples Sing Competition in 1971, the Choir has been on almost 60 international concert tours, three of them round the world, taking in Europe, Israel, the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. The Choir sings in more than 30 languages, since according to its principle, it always performs foreign songs in the original language.
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Review: Musicality has paved the way for the expansive project that has made the Tapiola Choir's career a unique one. All the way from the 1960s the choir has worked hand in hand with many of Finland's finest composers. This work has generated a quite new choral repertoire of very high quality and - most important - completely lacking all the stock "music for children" mannerisms.
Review: Four decades ago in Finland, music teacher Erkki Pohjola had a vision of what a children's choir should sound like, and many competition victories, recordings and great performances later, we have this best-of CD by the 35-strong Tapiola Choir as evidence of his brilliance. There are 11 songs here, sung in Finnish, (translated) "This Land, My Land, Finland," "Song of the Nation," "Song of the Wanting Land," "The Hills of Karelia," "Oh How Fair My Sweetheart Is," "The Shepherd Piper," "The Sky Is Blue," "Young Rascals From Harma Village," "An Orphan's Sigh," "Finlandia Hymn" and "Our Land." Variously accompanied, from harp to orchestra, the emphasis is on the startling, bell-like voices of the children and these beautiful Finnish songs. Incredible vocal clarity and range-lovely!
Review: Rainbow Sounds illustrates in a real way the international dimensions of the Tapiola Choir's activities. The choir has made nearly 60 foreign tours to nearly thirty countries. Three times the tour has taken them literally around the world. Tens of foreign choirs have enjoyed a reciprocal welcome in Tapiola as a consequence. It will come as no surprise then that the choir has developed a substantial repertoire of songs from around the world, sung in the original languages. On this CD alone one can hear over half of the thirty-or-more languages in which the choir has sung. Special attention is always paid to accuracy of pronunciation.
Review: The Tapiola Children's Choir was founded as a school choir by Erkki Pohjola in 1963. It rapidly developed into one of Finland's leading choirs, touring Japan, Europe and the US and winning competitions. "Sounds" is a rich, varied collection of 19 songs by outstanding Finnish composers such as Jean Sibelius ("Finlandia Hymn," "Song of My Heart," "The Snow is Falling"), Pekka Hannikainen ("Summer Twilight," "Sleep, my Child, Sleep"), Fredrik Pacius ("Song of Finland," "Our Country"), Aulis Sallinen ("The Winter Was Hard"), Toivo Kuula ("Evening"), Jukka Koskinen ("To Us a Festival is Given"), Michael Praetorius ("Let Us Chant") and others. Other favorites are Bach's "A Son is Born in Bethlehem" and "Let Me Praise Jesus," Handel's "Rejoice, Daughter of Sion" and the lively traditional folk tune "Burro Matti, Lapin joiku." Light accompaniment on two songs. A beautiful, ringing collection by one of our favorite children's choirs!
Go, Tell It On The Mountain
Review: Over three decades have passed since the founding of the Tapiola Choir, then known as the Tapiola Children's Choir. Shortly after their founding, in 1973 they released "Tapiolan Joulu" ("Christmas With Tapiola"). If you have ever heard that classic album you can't help but be moved by the bell-like chime and purity of the children's voices. On this new Christmas recording the Tapiola Choir, long since recognized as an international treasure, creates a richer, more mature sound with the addition of a couple of dozen young adult voices belonging to the 'seniors.' The choir's founder, Prof. Erkki Pohjola wished to share the experience of creating this recording with former members because this is to be his last as conductor and director of the choir. Additionally, the breadth of the arrangements was enhanced by use of orchestration which never occludes the beauty of the choir and special guest Jorma Hynninen, the celebrated Finnish operatic baritone. The recording begins with an a cappella version of the Australian folk song, "Mary, Handmaiden of the Lord" which was the first three part song ever sung by the original "Choir of the Lower Forms of Tapiola Secondary School." Progressively the song list increases in festivity, youthful fun predominates, and then imperceptibly the feeling returns to the original spirit of Christmas until, finally the choir closes the recording with the a cappella "At Christmas, God Came on Earth." This beautiful recording is not only a testimonial to the young singers of Tapiola but a superb passing of the musical baton to the new conductor, Kari Ala-Pollanen.