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Leevi Madetoja

Leevi Antti Madetoja (pronounced [ˈleːʋi ˈmɑdetˌojɑ]; 17 February 1887 – 6 October 1947) was a Finnish composer, music critic, conductor, and teacher of the late-Romantic and early-modern periods. He is widely recognized as one of the most significant Finnish contemporaries of Jean Sibelius, under whom he studied privately from 1908 to 1910.

The core of Madetoja's oeuvre consists of a set of three symphonies (1916, 1918, and 1926), 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. Other notable works include an Elegia for strings (1909); Kuoleman puutarha (The Garden of Death, 1918–21), a three-movement suite for solo piano; the Japanisme ballet-pantomime, Okon Fuoko (1927); and, a second opera, Juha (1935). Madetoja's fourth symphony, purportedly lost in 1938 at a Paris railway station, never materialized.

Acclaimed during his lifetime, Madetoja today is seldom heard outside the Nordic countries, although his music 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.

Madetoja was also an influential music critic, primarily with the newspaper Helsingin sanomat (1916–32), in which he reviewed the music scenes of France and Finland, praising Sibelius in particular. In 1918, he married the Finnish poet L. Onerva; their marriage was tempestuous and remained childless. His health failing due to alcoholism, Madetoja died from a heart attack on 6 October 1947 in Helsinki.

Birth and Death Data: Born February 17, 1887 (Oulu), Died October 6, 1947 (Helsinki)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1928 - 1938

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Gramophone BE1561 10-in. 5/17/1929 Terve päivä Pojolahan Lahja Linko Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Gramophone BE1562 10-in. 5/17/1929 Yrtit tummat Lahja Linko Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Gramophone BW1695 10-in. 6/1/1928 Vanha suo malainen polska 1 Chamber orchestra (unidentified; Gramophone Co., Helsinki, Finland) Instrumental ensemble composer  
Gramophone BW1696 10-in. 6/1/1928 Vanha suo malainen polska Chamber orchestra (unidentified; Gramophone Co., Helsinki, Finland) Instrumental ensemble composer  
Gramophone 0EA6223 10-in. 2/10/1938 Suvi-illan vieno tuuli Martti Turunen ; Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat Male vocal chorus composer  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Madetoja, Leevi," accessed July 13, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103240.

Madetoja, Leevi. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 13, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103240.

"Madetoja, Leevi." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 13 July 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103240

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