Klami, Uuno


Uuno Klami (20 September 1900 – 29 May 1961) became one of the leading Finnish Modernists during the 1920s. His main genre was orchestral music, and he experimented widely with his orchestration, combining national themes with international trends. His studies took him to Paris and Vienna, and Parisian influences are particularly marked in his musical language. He admired the orchestral sound of Ravel and was also influenced by Stravinsky.

Klami is one of the most frequent names on the Finnish concert programme, with his Kalevala Suite, Sea Pictures and other orchestral works. He also wrote popular overtures, such as those to King Lear and The Cobblers on the Heath, the latter virtually having the last word on the use of humour in this genre. One of his greatest works is the oratorio Psalmus (1936) for soprano, baritone, choir and orchestra.

Klami also wrote works for soloist and orchestra, among them the Cheremissian Fantasy (1931) for cello and orchestra and the Violin Concerto (1943/54). During the 1950s he worked on the ballet Whirls (Pyörteitä) featuring characters from the national epic, the Kalevala, but he never finished it. Kalevi Aho has since orchestrated the first Act and composed a third Act, Symphonic Dances. Hommage à Uuno Klami.

During recent years Fennica Gehrman has published a wealth of Klami’s previously unpublished pieces. They include the Sonata in C Minor for violin and piano, Sonata in B Flat Minor for viola and piano, Berceuse & Laulelma for violin and piano, Piano Trio in F Sharp Minor, Souvenir for violin and string ensemble as well as Valses lentes et amoureuses for string orchestra and piano. Uuno Klami’s piano works are available in a complete collection, and his pieces have also been arranged for organ by Esa Ylönen.

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