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Kaija Saariaho

Publisher: Chester Music

Leino Songs (2007)
Commissioned by the Osaka International Festival, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Casa da Musica, Porto.
Publisher
Chester Music Ltd
Category
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
2007
Duration
13 Minutes
Soloist
Soprano
Programme Note
Kaija Saariaho Leino Songs (2007)
Four Leino Songs are a setting of poems by one of Finland’s most important poets, Eino Leino. He was the most important developer of Finnish-language poetry at the turn of the 20th century, and in his works combined symbolism, mythic tradition and influences from Nietzsche with his own romantic concept of the poet as a truth-seeking visionary. The four songs, entitled Looking at You, The Heart, Evening Prayer and Peace were written for the Finnish soprano Anu Komsi and are the first set of songs Saariaho has written in Finnish.

Sua katselen
Sua katselen silmin ma huikaistuin
kuni kaunista sateenkaarta,
sua silmäni sulkien muistelen kuin
meren laskija lehtosaarta.

Sua katson ma hiljaa henkien
kuin kuvaa äitini armaan
ja uskon, ett' enkelit lapsuuden
nyt lähellä liikkuvat varmaan.

Sydän
I
Sydän, mitä sahaat?
Sahaatko lautaa
neljää, joiden
välissä maata,
maata mun mieluisa on?

Sahaan ma rautaa,
kahleita katkon,
että sun henkesi
vapaa oisi,
henkesi onneton.

II
Sydän, mitä kuiskaat?
Kuiskitko kummaa
polkua päivän,
tunturin tietä,
taivahan tähtiä päin?

Kuiskin ma tummaa
ruonoa Tuonen,
kuiluja, vaivaa
virkkumatonta,
autuutta ylpeäin.

Iltarukous
Unta, unta, unta
syvää uinumaan.
Lunta, lunta, lunta
päälle mustan maan.

Yössä, yössä, yössä
öiset linnut lentää.
Työssä, työssä, työssä
lepää tuskat sentään.

Lennä, lennä, lennä
aatos inehmon!
Mennä, mennä, mennä
aika maata on.

Rauha
Mitä on nää touksut mun ympärilläin?
Mitä on tämä hiljaisuus?
Mitä tietävi rauha mun sydämessäin,
tää suuri ja outo ja uus?

Minä kuulen, kuink' kukkaset kasvavat
ja metsässä puhuvat puut.
Minä luulen, nyt kypsyvät unelmat
ja toivot ja toou'ot muut.

Kaikk' on niin hiljaa mun ympärilläin,
kaikk' on niin hellää ja hyvää.
Kukat suuret mun aukeevat sydämessäin
ja touksuvat rauhaa syvää.



Looking at You
Sua katselen, by Eino Leino

Looking in your eyes dazzles me
like looking at a rainbow's beauty,
I close my eyes and drift to your memory
as to a gladed island in the sea.

I look at you breathing softly
like an image of my mother dear
and it seems that the angels of childhood
must be stirring somewhere near.

translated by Lola Rogers


The Heart
Sydän, by Eino Leino

I.
Heart, what are you sawing?
are you sawing planks,
four planks for me
to lie down in,
a pleasant place to lie down?

It's iron I'm sawing
I'm breaking your chains
so that your soul
will be free,
your unhappy soul will be free.

II.
Heart, what are you whispering?
Are you whispering the wondrous
path of the daylight
a pass through the mountains
toward the stars in the sky?

It's darkness I'm whispering
dark Tuoni's poems
chasms, trouble,
uttering nothing,
the blessedness of pride.

translated by Lola Rogers


Evening Prayer
Iltarukous, by Eino Leino

Sleep, sleep, sleep
deeply to slumber.
Snow, snow, snow
over the black land.

Night, night, night,
night birds are flying.
Work, work, work
but even woe must rest.

Fly, fly, fly,
humankind’s pondering!
Away, away, away
the time has come to rest.

translated by Lola Rogers


Peace
Rauha, by Eino Leino

What is this fragrance around me?
What is this quietness?
What is this promise of peace in my heart,
what strange, grand, new thing is this?

I hear how the flowers are growing
and the talk of the trees in the wood.
I think that my old dreams are ripening
all my hopes, all the things that I sowed.

Everything's quiet around me,
Everything's gentle and sweet.
Great flowers are opening here in my heart
with a fragrance of deepest peace.

translated by Lola Rogers


Score preview:

Performances
Date
Title
  • 12 DEC 2013
    Auditorium de Lyon, France
    Orchestre National de Lyon
    Anu Komsi (soprano); Jukka-Pekka Saraste, conductor

    Other Dates:
    14 December - Auditorium de Lyon, France
  • 27 AUG 2013
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Kungliga Filharmoniska Orkestern
    Hans Ek, conductor
  • 19 APR 2013
    Cité de la Musique, Paris
    L'Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
    Anu Komsi (soprano); Santtu-Matias Rouvali, conductor
  • 14 OCT 2012
    Kaija Saariaho festival / Voices
    Sonore, Helsinki Music Centre, Finland
  • 31 JAN 2012
    Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Toronto
    Elmer Iseler Singers
    Carla Huhtanen, (soprano) Adam Sherkin, (piano)
  • 28 OCT 2011
    Leino Songs UK Premiere
    Barbican, London
    BBC Symphony Orchestra
    Anu Komsi (soprano) ; Sakari Oramo, conductor
  • 12 AUG 2011
    Leino Songs Country Premiere
    NJO Summer Academy
    Nunspeet, Netherlands
    NJO Chamber Orchestra
    Clark Rundell, conductor

    Other Dates:
    14 August - Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • 08 MAY 2010
    Leino Songs Country Premiere
    Casa da Musica, Oporto, Portugal
    Oporto National Orchestra
    Anu Komsi; Martin Andre, conductor
  • 10 FEB 2010
    Lübeck, Germany
    Steinunn Skjenstad, Sopran; Eva Barta, Klavier; André Roshka, Flöte/Altflöte; David Stromberg, Cello
  • 01 NOV 2008
    Leino Songs Country Premiere
    Nordic Focus 2008
    Casa da Musica, Porto, Portugal
    Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Anu Komsi, soprano; Sakari Oramo, conductor
  • 24 OCT 2008
    Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, Finland
    Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
    Sakari Oramo, conductor
  • 05 APR 2008
    Leino Songs World Premiere
    Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan
    Kyoto Symphony Orchestra
    Anu Komsi; Ernest Martinez-Izquierdo, conductor

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