Einojuhani Rautavaara's reputation as one of the greatest living Finnish composers is assured. Once Sibelius's protégé, over his long career he has achieved success in a great number of musical genres, particularly that of opera. But it is his choral works that have made him a household name, both in his native country and internationally. Recorded here is a fascinating selection of works, including the Suite de Lorca-one of the most popular Finnish choral works of all time-and all demostrating the unique style forged by the composer on his travels through the musical fashions of the twentieth century. His rich and sonorous neo-Romantic textures have a steely modernist edge and the resulting voice is one that is deeply attractive and approachable, yet endlessly captivating. He sets texts of great passion and complexity and does not hold back from expressing deep emotion.
Rautavaara's music is performed by the Schola Cantorum of Oxford, described in The Times as 'Oxford's classy intercollegiate choir' and highly acclaimed for their two previous recordings for Hyperion. The choir is conducted by James Burton.