Leevi Madetoja

Leevi Madetoja

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Leevi Madetoja is widely recognized as one of the most significant Finnish contemporaries of Sibelius, under whom he studied privately from 1908–10. The core of Madetoja's oeuvre consists of a set of three symphonies, arguably the finest early-twentieth century additions to the symphonic canon of any Finnish composer, Sibelius excepted. As central to Madetoja's legacy is Pohjalaisia (The Ostrobothnians, 1923), proclaimed Finland's "national opera" following its successful 1924 premiere and, even today, a stalwart of the country's repertoire. Madetoja has in recent decades enjoyed a renaissance, as the recording projects of a number of Nordic orchestras and conductors evidence. His idiom is notably introverted for a national romantic composer, a blend of Finnish melancholy, folk melodies from his native region of Ostrobothnia, and the elegance and clarity of the French symphonic tradition, founded on César Franck and guided by Vincent d'Indy. His music also reveals Sibelius's influence.




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