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We’re delighted to introduce two albums featuring the Sibelius Piano Trio. These are part of a quartet of DSD releases from executive producer Philip O’Hanlon and his company ‘On a Higher Note’, which is one of the most important distributors of high end audio equipment in North America. Thank you so much, Philip, for making this DSD quartet possible.
The first in this quartet was James Matheson, which we released this past autumn. The fourth in this quartet, Obsidian, celebrating the music of Clara Schumann, will come out in the spring of 2017.
NativeDSD mastering engineer Tom Caulfield is the one who put all our formats and resolutions together in time for this release. Our heartiest thanks to Tom for his help and generosity. These recordings are recorded in DSD256fs using the Hapi and Horus from Merging Technologies, and are available, thanks to Tom, in stereo, 5.0 surround sound, and SonoruS Holographic Imaging.
Bob Attiyeh, producer
J.P. Markkanen, Finnish Consul General in Los Angeles, wrote these words introducing the Sibelius Piano Trio:
Petteri Iivonen, Juho Pohjonen and Samuli Peltonen founded Sibelius Piano Trio a few years ago, and catapulted to success on the European concert stage. When three international soloists of this caliber unite to form a chamber music ensemble, the results are predictably electric. These three friends love playing together, and this love is easy to hear in their concerts and in their recording.
Petteri lived in Los Angeles for several years while studying with Hagai Shaham at Thornton School of Music at USC, and he has close family here. Yarlung had worked with Petteri to record his now legendary albums Art of the Violin and Art of the Sonata with Canadian pianist Kevin Fitz-Gerald, also released on NativeDSD.
The Sibelius Piano Trio and Yarlung Records dedicated this album to Finland’s 100th Anniversary. I want to say a personal thank you to DSD executive producer Philip O’Hanlon, to CD executive producer Ann Mulally and to Randy and Linda Bellous for enabling Yarlung to create these two volumes in honor of Finland’s centennial.
As you will hear when you enjoy the Sibelius Piano Trio, either in live concert or on this recording, these gentlemen are at home in any musical style. When they play Nene, written for them by Argentine composer Diego Schissi, you hear Latin musicians offering you South American sunlight and Argentine dance rhythms. When Sibelius Piano Trio performs Ruminations by David S. Lefkowitz, the Trio conjures Persian poetry, musical instruments including the oud, nose flute and the Eastern European Klezmer. Petteri, Juho and Samuli perform these works from the other side of the world from where they were born as fluently and seemingly effortlessly as they play celebrated Sibelius trios or modern classics by Finnish composer virtuosi Lotta Wennäkoski and Kaija Saariaho.
Coretet is the organization which commissioned Nene and Ruminations for Sibelius Piano Trio. My sincere thanks. Join them as fellow commissioners of new music. Ruminations and Nene were audience favorites at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, where the Trio gave their premieres on March 30th, 2016.
Lotta Wennäkoski’s Päärme was commissioned by Finland’s Kimito Island Music Festival for The Sibelius Piano Trio, which premiered the work last summer, on July 7th, 2015. Samuli Peltonen returned to perform in the festival again in 2016.
The Trio’s performance of Kaija Saariaho’s well-known dark and yet transcendent Je sens un deuxième Coeur, about a pregnant woman who is attacked and survives, may become known as the authoritative performance of this mighty work.
And in honor of the Trio’s namesake, Petteri, Juho and Samuli perform three early piano trios by “the master,” Jean Sibelius himself. They begin with the unpublished Korppoo Trio, a real treat. Sibelius wrote this work in 1887, but the score is closely held by The Sibelius Foundation, which gives infrequent permission for public performance or recordings of this monumental score. Sibelius Piano Trio had the special honor of performing from the manuscript written cleanly in the composer’s hand. This live concert on March 30th offered the lucky audience the first main stage performance of this work in the Americas. May there soon be another!
Disk two opens with the better-known Hafträsk Trio, which Sibelius wrote in 1886, one year before Korppoo Trio. Our musicians help us recover from the challenging Saariaho trio with Sibelius’ light-hearted Lovisa Trio, which follows. Sibelius wrote Lovisa in 1888.
As a proud Finn and as a representative of the Finnish government, I salute The Sibelius Piano Trio for their talent and join them in celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Finland’s independence in 2017. Petteri, Juho and Samuli embody and exemplify the best of our country, and as someone who lives in Los Angeles, it gives me great pleasure that the Trio is so intimately connected with California and Yarlung Records. Please join me in celebrating this dynamic young trio, and in celebrating the magnificent country of Finland. Suomi 100!
Consul General of Finland
Los Angeles, July 28th, 2016