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T. Ekimenko

About the national features in music by Karelian composers

The article considers the work of Karelian composers aimed at creating compositions that demonstrate the connection with the national traditions of the region. One of the first to touch upon this problem was the Gelmer-Rainer Sinisalo (1920–1989), who was the head of the composer’s organization in the republic for more than three decades. The author of the article reveals the specific techniques noted by G. Sinisalo in publications, speeches, reports, which are associated with the implementation of the national stylistic features in music. They concern both the use of the means of musical language and the borrowed melodic sources. The examples are the ballet “Sampo” by G. Sinisalo and the media opera “The Golden Maiden” by V. Sergeenko, in which the composers make the connection between the plot and the epic poem “Kalevala” by E. Lennroth.

The ballet “Sampo” by Sinisalo reflects the main plot lines of E. Lennroth’s poem “Kalevala” – the struggle for the magic mill of Sampo, which is realized in the confrontation of the forces of good and evil. The plot of Sergeenko’s media opera “The Golden Maiden” is based on Karelian and Ingermanland folk poetry and Lennroth’s epic poem “Kalevala”. The opera is written in the Livvik dialect of the Karelian language. National attributes of opera can be found in libretto, language and theme. The music of the opera, as a rule, was a counterpoint of the notated text (composed and rehearsed in advance) and the text that was created by the computer during the performance. The music was simultaneously performed by a choir, an orchestra, soloists-singers and a computer (program created musical material on the basis of drawings – ornaments).

Key words

Union of Karelian Composers, Gelmer-Rainer Sinisalo, the ballet “Sampo”, the poem “Kalevala”, Victoria Sergeenko, the media opera “Golden Maiden”.

For citation

Ekimenko T. About the national features in music by Karelian composers // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2021. No. 2. Pp. 75–81.