The new album, released today, comprises two of Olli Mustonen’s Symphonies: Symphony No. 2, “Johannes Angelos” and Symphony No. 3, “Taivaanvalot” (Heavenly Lights) performed by Turku Philharmonic Orchestra with Olli Mustonen himself conducting. Composing has always formed an integral part of the artistic life of pianist-conductor Olli Mustonen, and he first emerged as a symphonist in the early 2010s. This album contains two of his latest symphonies, both dramatic works firmly rooted in and continuing the tradition of the great classical composers. In this recording, the solo part in the third symphony is sung by internationally acclaimed tenor Ian Bostridge.
“Both my 2nd and 3rd symphonies draw their inspiration from important landmarks of Finnish literature. The 2nd Symphony ‘Johannes Angelos’ has been inspired by a wonderful historical novel by Mika Waltari, taking place in the final weeks of Byzantine Constantinople in 1453. I have always been deeply fascinated by Byzantium – the empire, whose inhabitants spoke Greek, but called themselves Romans.
The impact of our national epic, the Kalevala, on Finnish culture has been tremendous, the music of Sibelius of course being one of the greatest and most internationally recognised manifestations of this. The text for my 3rd Symphony is composed of fragments of a story appearing in the Kalevala, beautifully translated by Keith Bosley. As much of it is simply impossible to translate, I have felt that with the help of music it might be possible to convey some of those untranslatable, at times even hypnotic and shamanistic qualities of this poetry also to an audience not fluent in our unusual language.” – Olli Mustonen 2023
You can listen to the album on any streaming platform, including Apple Music and Spotify.