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Ken Meltzer
Fanfare, January 2020

Conductor Leif Segerstam secures first-rate performances from both the chorus and orchestra. The recording is excellent, with a warm and resonant acoustic paired with a superb balance of soloists, chorus, and orchestra—no mean feat. It’s a perfectly acceptable performance, one that will give you a strong sense of Beethoven’s achievements in this score. © 2020 Fanfare Read complete review

Paul L. Althouse
American Record Guide, November 2019

The leading roles here are well cast. Jussi Myllys is a fine tenor… Haapamäki…she manages her material (including an aria worthy of Queen of the Night) very well. Bass Spangberg as Peter has only one recitative and a trio, and he is fine. The chorus is very good… All in all, a worthy job from Finland! © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Leslie Wright
MusicWeb International, August 2019

Elegischer Gesang (Elegiac Song), which Beethoven composed around 1814, while he was revising Fidelio, and dedicated to a friend and supporter in memory of his friend’s wife who had died three years earlier. Originally intended for four singers and either string quartet or piano, but not published until 1896, this part-song succeeds well in its choral-orchestral transcription. The performance here by both chorus and orchestra is exemplary. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Robert Levine, August 2019

Segerstam takes almost 10 minutes longer with the work than the competition (Nagano, Rilling) and it feels it. …He just about gets through the coloratura in his last aria, while Jussi Myllys, on this new release flies through musically and elegantly and elsewhere is also up to snuff. Soprano and bass are fine.

…The Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra sing and play handsomely… © 2019 Read complete review

Classical Music Daily, July 2019

The fine tenor Jussi Myllys delivers an impassioned account. The Turku Philharmonic Orchestra from Finland is fine indeed, and Leif Segerstam, one of my favourite conductors, delivers a thoughtful and detailed rendition. © 2019 Classical Music Daily

Norman Lebrecht
Ludwig Van Toronto, June 2019

Leif Segerstam, the wild baton of Finnish music, finds just the right tempo for telling a dramatic Biblical story. The Turku Philharmonic and their local cathedral choir have both delicacy and heft, and the soloists — Hanna-Leena Haapamäki, Jussi Mylls and Niklas Spangberg are absolutely top-drawer. Track six — Hail, the redeemer — goes straight into my file of blind-testings. Sensational music, brilliantly performed. © 2019 Ludwig Van Toronto Read complete review, June 2019

Another of Beethoven’s less well-known or recorded works, it was originally written for string quartet and four mixed voices but is exquisitely played here by Segerstam and the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. © 2019

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, June 2019

In this recording, Leif Segerstam, choir, orchestra and soloists present themselves as a homogeneous and suggestively working ensemble, which does justice to the spirit of the piece in a stylistically confident manner. Segerstam often conducts quite slowly and very expressively, with beautifully calm passages and a dramatic final part. Jussi Myllys has a light, soft, but characteristisc voice that is well suited for the role of Christ. The big, creamy, round voice of Hanna-Leena Haapamäki is very flexible. Niklas Spangberg is also a good cast in the role of Peter. The choir is excellent too. © 2019 Pizzicato Read complete review

Lark Reviews, June 2019

Leif Segerstam is not as familiar a figure in this country as was previously the case so it is all the more welcome to be reminded of his considerable talents as a conductor. This early oratorio was first performed in a lengthy concert which included the first and second symphonies alongside the third piano concerto, and is fairly conventional in its structure even if there are hints of a more operatic approach to the chorus writing and the sensitive solo part for Jesus. Good to have a new recording of this and the bonus is the rarer Elegischer Gesang from 1814. © 2019 Lark Reviews

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2019

There was a time when Christus am Olberge (Christ on the Mount of Olives) was a favourite among amateur choirs its length convenient for a second half of a concert. Today I find it rarely scheduled, and truth to tell, it was not vintage Beethoven, the composer having reservations after its completion by having fallen into the mould of an Italiante format. Still it contains some deeply moving arias for the tenor in the role of Jesus, and here we have the Finnish-born Jussi Myllys, a superb singer with a powerful projection to support his lyric quality. He has a most engaging Seraph from his compatriot, the soprano, Hanna-Leena Haapamaki, and it is this role, with agile vocal decorations, that might well have been the composer’s major concern, as it comes close to the writing of virtuoso Italian operatic arias. The chorus have to spend the first twenty minutes awaiting their first entry, their opening role coming as a very sturdy group of Angels who sound rather more convincing when they become the stealthy soldiers who apprehend Jesus. The third soloist has the brief part of the disciple, Peter, and is here taken by the long-serving bass of the Finnish National Opera, Niklas Spangberg. Eleven years later Beethoven composed, as a lament for the death of a friend’s wife, the Elegiac Song, scoring it for a vocal quartet with a string quartet accompaniment. We have it here in a format for choir and orchestra. We are indebted to the septuagenarian conductor, Leif Segerstam, for bringing the works to our attention, and obtaining from the Turku orchestra, of which he is the music director, playing with a beautiful refinement. Good quality sound. © 2019 David’s Review Corner

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