In January BIS Records published our latest record, with music by Alex Freeman.
Freeman’s requiem Under the arching heavens was commissioned by Nils Schweckendiek and the Helsinki Chamber Choir to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Finnish civil war. Structured around the Latin liturgy of the mass for the dead, the work has a duration of more than an hour and also incorporates poems in Finnish, Swedish and English, reflecting both the specific reason for the commission and the universality of human suffering caused by war. In the non-liturgical texts chosen by Freeman, birds are a recurring image, as is that of a mother and child. The work ends with lines by Walt Whitman from a poem written in the aftermath of the American Civil War; lines described by the composer as ‘some of the most comforting poetry in the English language.’ Also included on the disc is A Wilderness of Sea, another recent choral piece which draws on works by Shakespeare, and the poet’s images of the sea, and of mankind’s relationship with it.
The choir is conducted by artistic director Nils Schweckendiek and the record can be purchased in the choir’s web shop.
An die Freude! 18.12. at 7 pm.
Despite the circumstances we get to celebrate Beethoven 250 years by performing his ninth symphony together with the Helsinki Philharmonic and chief conductor Susanna Mälkki. The concert is broadcasted directly on the Helsinki channel and in the HKO Screen mobile app.
At the Musica nova Helsinki festival in February Helsinki Chamber Choir will perform the young star composer Eugene Birman’s socially aware and emotionally charged work State of the Union, a meditative stream of names of extinct animals, TV ad slogans, US military operations and refrains of the Christian right. The Helsinki Chamber Choir is known especially for performing contemporary music, and it has worked with Birman for years and premiered the piece on its US tour in 2016. The program also features two works by the theme composers of the festival.
Saturday 6th of February 2021 at Ritarihuone in Helsinki – tickets for sale now!