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The Musica Choir

Director: Pekka Kostiainen

The Musica Choir

Mixed Choral Chorus from Finland.

The Musica choir was founded under the aegis of the Jyvaskyla University Department of Musicology in 1977 and has been conducted throughout its history by Pekka Kostiainen. Over the years it has aimed at combining different styles and thereby expanding its range of expression. This also allows the singers to enhance their knowledge and experience of choral music. The friendly mood within the choir and its regular rehearsals have been rewarded in a number of international choral competitions. In the 31 years since it began Musica has travelled as far afield as South Africa and nearer home to Germany, Ireland, Estonia and numerous other European countries. At home in Finland this band of former and present students from the University of Jyvaskyla has likewise won the recognition it deserves. In addition to its frequent concerts it has released many discs, and its album Mull' on heila ihana was voted Choral Record of the Year in 2000.

In order to achieve its objectives, the choir of some 30 singers works hard throughout the academic year. Great attention is paid at rehearsals to voice training and the creation of a homogeneous sound. The present coach in vocal technique is Minja Niiranen, herself a singer. Musica has won recognition both for the clarity of its sound and for its interpretations of the musical moods and texts. One of its primary aims is indeed to create an atmosphere in which both audience and singers enjoy the concert regardless of the type of music performed.

The choir's repertoire has always been wide, taking in folk, Renaissance and Baroque music, sacred works and ones by contemporary composers. New trends have ensured steady technical and artistic development, and keeping an open mind helps the choir to make new discoveries with which to delight both itself and its audiences. Naturally the bulk of the Musica repertoire consists of works by Pekka Kostiainen, but the choir has also served as an instrument for other contemporary composers. In addition to its unaccompanied performances it often engages in partnership with others such as the Sinfonia Finlandia Jyvaskyla, with which it puts on some large-scale work almost annually. The most recent project was based on the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala: Tuli on tuima tie'ettava by Pekka Kostiainen.

Pekka Kostiainen, founder and leader of the Musica choir, graduated from the Sibelius Academy with diplomas in church music and composition. In 2000 he renounced his lectureship at the University of Jyvaskyla in order to concentrate on composing and choral conducting. Best known as a composer of choral music, Pekka Kostiainen has also had a distinguished conducting career both with Musica and since 1994 with the Vox Aurea children's choir; he thus has a profound understanding of the choir's potential as an instrument. He has composed over 100 works for various types of choir, many of them influenced by the tradition that yielded Finland's national epic, the Kalevala. His output also includes large-scale orchestral, chamber and solo works. Many of his biggest works have been premiered this century; the Easter oratorio Triduum Paschale in 2000, his first opera, Sammon tarina (The Story of the Sampo) in 2003, and his first symphony in spring 2004, performed by the Sinfonia Finlandia Jyvaskyla on the occasion of his 60th birthday.

Discography

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The Musica Choir : Boy or Girl? : 00  1 CD : Pekka Kostiainen :  : ncd 21

The Musica Choir : Boy or Girl?

Review: Kostiainen conducts Kostiainen" discs was released in 2003. The Musica Choir recorded Kostiainen's suites for a mixed choir, partially based on Ingrian folklore lyrics (The Bridegroom's Arrival Songs 1- II and Mary's Story), some texts for the works are selected from the national epic Kalevala (The Tracing of Frost). On the disc there are also some humour Kostiainen likes to cultivate in his works i.e. The Satirical Suite to the lyrics by Lauri Viita.

Songlist: Greeting at the cross-roads, Boy or girl?, Mari's berries, Mari spoiled by the soldiers, What was it that me created?, Mourning for her birth, Greeting at the cross-roads, The groom's entourage sets off for the bridal manor, The groom's entourage arrives at the closed gate of the bridal manor, The groom will not alight until he has been greeted, The groom's entourage salutes the bride's home and asks after the bride, As the groom removes his gear, a choir of maidens salutes him and his entourage, The choir of maidens continues, asking how and by what way the groom's entourage found the bridal manor, The groom's entourage replies that they came along the Lord's highway, following the smell of beer from the bridal manor, The women in the groom's entourage tell the spokesman to purchase the groom the seat of honour at the table, The women sing a song of thanksgiving as the groom sits down at table, The choir of maidens wonders at what took the groom so long, The groom's spokesman, defending the groom, says the groom has visited his father's grave that morning, The Leader, The Service, The Wise, The Office, The Moral, The Collaboboration, The Tree of Knowledge, The Compasion, The Roundelay, Pakko, boy of wicked lineage, Would have frozen Ahti also, You have more than you can do, and more

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3177c | 00 1 CD | $15.95 | A Cappella Finnish Choral Music


The Musica Choir : I've Got a Sweetheart : 00  1 CD : Pekka Kostiainen :  : ncd 16

The Musica Choir : I've Got a Sweetheart

Review: The Musica Choir recorded the 3rd part of Kostiainen conducts Kostiainen" series, I've Got a Sweetheart, in the year 2000. On disc you can hear among others the best known folklore based works for the mixed choir, such as the title song and the arrangement for choir of the Ostrobthnian folk song "Veret tuli mun silimihini" (I Got Tears in These Eyes of Mine). In addition there is maybe the most often performed piece of work by Kostiainen "Jaakobin (isot) pojat" (The (Grown-up) Sons of Jacob) and some new works composed into Kalevala texts. SULASOL (The Finnish Association of Choirs) and The Finnish Association of Choirmasters selected this disc as "A Choir Disc of The Year 2000". The Musica Choir had the honor to be the first choir receiving this award to outside the Capital City of Finland.

Songlist: Mull on heila ihana, Lankoiseni, lintuiseni, Ellos nyt hyva isoni, Siita paivan kiinni saapi, Yo alinomainen, Hiilella piirretyt puut, Rikasmies ja aarreaitta, Unberuhmter Ort, An meinen altesten Sohn, Viatonten valssi, Jaakobin isot pojat, Veret tuli mun silimihini, Hyvaa iltaa kultaseni

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3176c | 00 1 CD | $15.95 | A Cappella Finnish Choral Music


The Musica Choir : Oh Lord, Please Take my Hand : 00  1 CD : Pekka Kostiainen :  : ncd 29

The Musica Choir : Oh Lord, Please Take my Hand

Review: On March 2007 was released the disc "Oh Lord, please take my hand" where the Musica Choir recorded Pekka Kostieinen's choral arrangements of the well known and also not so well known Finnish psalms and spiritual hymns. Psalm arr.s at the same time are a minor cross section about the career of the composer, the oldest are from 60s and the latest from 2000-tale. This is the 5th disc of the series "Kostiainen conducts Kostiainen"

Songlist: Guardian Angel, Now through the wilderness, This blessed summertime, Abide, my soul, by the will of the Lord, Whence shall I seek refuge?, Be prepared, people of the Lord, Hosanna, He cometh, The King on high, A star once in the sky, Rise up, ye vales and valleys, When you, oh Lord, are with me, A treasure beyond compare, Behold the Lamb of God, A path leads from the garden to Golgotha, Come all and behold, You rose from your grave, I praise and thank Thee, When our defence is in God, I bring you from your angels, Thanks be to Thee, Oh God, Awake, tardy souls, May your hand, oh Lord, protect, A stronghold safe, The coming of Christ, Before Thee, Jesus, once again, Evening has fallen, Creator, The traveller's thoughts return, The ways we once all travel, My kantele

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3178c | 00 1 CD | $15.95 | A Cappella Finnish Choral Music


The Musica Choir : Regina Angelorum : 00  1 CD : Pekka Kostiainen :  : ncd 6

The Musica Choir : Regina Angelorum

Review: This excellent recording features the most important church music Kostiainen composed for a cappella choir and here sung by The Musica Choir. The title work Regina Angelorum is one of best known work for the female choir by Kostiainen. Kostiainen was awarded the "Goldene Stimmgabel" prize of the European Association of Choirmasters in the year 1995.

Songlist: Kyrie, Gloria, In Deo salutare meum, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Ave Maria, Regina angelorum, Laudate pueri, Te Deum

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3174c | 00 1 CD | $15.95 | A Cappella Finnish Choral Music


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