Never before has Helvi Leiviskä’s (1902–1982) music been published as a complete CD. This is hardly surprising. She had to work in a world that at the time was (and still is) dominated by men.
Her music is simply good music in a late-Romantic style with a great variety of qualities. Andante movement of the early Piano Quartet Op. 1 (1926) opens delicately, and the whole work ends with the energetic and solemn, almost neoclassical Allegro. Her mature work, Symphony No. 3, Op. 31 (1971), has a Shostakovichian finale that chugs ahead like a locomotive.
The CD is compiled from archive recordings of the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) dating back to the 1950s and 1970s. Although the musicians are among the leading Finnish musicians of the time, the recordings suffer from an uneven quality.
Violin Sonata in G minor, Op. 21
Piano Quartet in A Major, Op. 1
Symphony No. 3, Op. 31
Paavo Pohjola (violin), Liisa Pohjola (piano), Irma
Ruuskanen (piano), Tuomas Haapanen (violin),
Martti Pajanne (viola), Vili Pullinen (cello)
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, cond. Jussi Jalas
Finlandia Classics FINCLA 1