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Outi Tarkiainen

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

The Lustful Mother (2018)
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Soloists and Orchestra
Year Composed
30 Minutes
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Programme Note
Outi Tarkiainen The Lustful Mother (2018)
Song cycle for baritone, string orchestra and piano

I The Time of the Lustful Mother
II A Breath of Wind
III Night or Day
IV Still Shines Within Me
V Hallowed Be

Naarasäiti (The Lustful Mother) is about becoming a mother, an experience in which sexuality combines in a natural way with the birth of a new life. The texts of the cycle are from the collections of poems Äitejä, tyttäriä (Árbeeadni, The Time of the Lustful Mother, 2013) and Kylmä kumppani (Galbma rádna, My Cold Companion, 1999) by two contemporary Sámi poets, Rauni Magga Lukkari and Rose-Marie Huuva. The poems’ primitive, matriarchal beat is present throughout in the music: a dark, earthy solo viola accompanies the baritone while the sizzling, sparkling strings erupt at times in powerful textures.

The work was commissioned by the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, the Hetta Music Festival and Rauma Festivo.

Score preview

The choice of a baritone as the narrator of a story about motherhood was intriguing: this dualism defied the patriarchal undercurrent and instead made the narrative universal and panhuman. Baritone Pelkonen conversed in an enchanting, confidential way with the viola (Hanna Pakkala), which began the song cycle and mirrored the often profound womanhood in the music. Tarkiainen’s song cycle lasting about 30 minutes was marked by an excellent command of compositional craft. She knows exactly what she wants, but the music sounds both exciting and predictable. In the third song she paints a floating, dream-like sense of connection between the mother and the still unborn child. The piano, played by Johanna Tilus, occupies a decisive role with its timbres. The fourth song puts forward various thoughts on the great enigmas of life and the piano’s glittering colours lead to the fifth song in the story, an utterly riveting conclusion: a chorale-like blessing of mother and new-born child. An especially fine conclusion to an impressive cycle
Kaj Ahlsved, Österbotten Tidning ,30/09/2019
The orchestra in Tarkiainen’s work is like a single radiant organism. In essence, it is simultaneously static and constantly changing. The strings play long notes, creating transparent timbres, but the persistent trills make the colours fluid. The impression is of an organism floating in space and reflecting the cold light of the stars.
Anni Saari, Keskipohjanmaa,30/09/2019
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