Rautavaara, Einojuhani


Einojuhani Rautavaara (9. October 1928 – 27. July 2016) is internationally one of the best known and most frequently performed Finnish composers. He was by nature a romantic, even a mystic, as is often apparent from the titles of his works: for example Angels and Visitations for orchestra or his double-bass concerto Angel of Dusk. Despite Rautavaara’s label of “mysticism” he was a complex and contradictory figure whose works cannot be categorized in stylistic terms.

At the age of seventeen Rautavaara began studying the piano and later went on to study musicology at Helsinki University and composition at the Sibelius Academy. From 1951-53 he was a pupil of Aarre Merikanto receiving his diploma in composition in 1957. In 1955 the Koussewitzky Foundation awarded Jean Sibelius a scholarship in honour of his 90th birthday to enable a young Finnish composer of his choice to study in the United States. Sibelius selected Rautavaara who spent two years studying with Vincent Persichetti at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and also took part in the summer courses at Tanglewood given by Roger Sessions and Aaron Copland. In 1957 Rautavaara continued his studies with Wladimir Vogel in Ascona, Switzerland and a year later with Rudolf Petzold in Cologne. Rautavaara has taught and lectured at the Sibelius Academy as the professor of composition. Since 1988 he made his living as a composer in Helsinki.

Rautavaara’s earliest works revealed close ties to tradition but also his desire to renew it. They were followed by an extreme constructivist and avant-garde phase (as in the serially organized fourth symphony “Arabescata”, 1962) after which Rautavaara turned to hyper-romanticism and finally mysticism. Since the early 1980s Rautavaara has adopted a sort of post-modern musical language in which modern and traditional elements of varying degrees of constructivism or freedom are combined with one another.

Rautavaara composed eight symphonies, the most frequently performed of them being the Angel of Light, his seventh symphony. Symphony No. 8 “The Journey” was premiered in April 2000 by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Wolfgang Sawallisch. Other important groups of works include concertos for different solo instruments, among them the three piano concertos, the popular Violin Concerto (1977), the Harp Concerto (2000) and the Clarinet Concerto (2001-02). Rautavaara has also written a large body of chamber music as well as choral and vocal works including All-Night Vigil for a cappella chorus. Rautavaara’s most popular orchestral work  is Cantus arcticus, concerto for birds and orchestra, in which the orchestral part is juxtaposed with the sounds of birds recorded by the composer himself.

Apart from his symphonies the central pillars of Rautavaara’s extensive oeuvre are his operas. With Vincent (1985-87) and The House of the Sun (1990) Rautavaara has scored a notable international success. Aleksis Kivi was premiered at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in 1997 and it has been performed in Cosenza, Italy and Minneapolis, U.S.A since then.  The Gift of the Magi (Tietäjien lahja) is a charming opera based on the short story by O. Henry. The last stage work Rautavaara wrote is Rasputin (2001-2003), an opera about the life of mystic and healer Grigory Rasputin. The libretto has been translated into German, and after the Finnish premiere the opera was also performed at the Lybeck Theatre in Germany.

A Soldier's Mass

Sotilasmessu (1968)

for wind orchestra

2232-asax-tsax-barsax-444(III&IV=btrb)2(I=barhn)-12 Percussione 1: Tamburo piccolo, Piatto sospeso, Silofono, Vibrafono 2: Tamburo militare, 2 Tom-toms, Tamtam, Campanelli, Legno

Duration: 11

Adagio celeste [SALES MATERIAL]


for string orchestra


Duration: 6

Aleksis Kivi [complete opera]


Opera in three acts

Soloists: 11 singing roles, 2 speaking roles 002(II=bcl)0-0000-02-synth-str Percussione: Timpano 25", Snare drum, 4 tom-tom, Piatto, Piatto sul timpano, Tamtam, Crotales, Marimba, Silofono, Vibrafono, Tubular bells, Legno, Frusta, Guiro, Flexaton

Duration: 105


Adoration of Aphrodite (1968)

for orchestra


Duration: 11

Angel of Dusk [chamber version] [SALES MATERIAL]


for double bass, two pianos and percussion

Duration: 27

Angel of Dusk [version for orchestra]

Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra (1980/93)

2(II+picc)222-4331-13-hp.cel-str Percussion: Vibraphone, Marimba, Xylophone, Tubular bells, Tam-tam, Snare drum, Suspended Cymbal, Bass drum, Flexaton, Legno, 2 Woodblocks, Tom-tom, Glockenspiel

Duration: 27

Angels and Visitations


for orchestra


Duration: 20


Concerto for organ, brass group and symphonic wind (1976)

228(VII=ebcl;VIII=bcl)2-asax-tsax-33(III=picctr)31-euph-04-cb(4) Brass concertino: 1211

Duration: 30


(1992 rev 1999)

for orchestra

223(III=cl.basso)3(III=c.fag)-4421-13(marimba, vibrafono, tam-tam)-hp-str

Duration: 8

Auringon talo / The House of the Sun

Das Sonnenhaus [complete opera] (1990)

Chamber Opera in Two Acts

Soloists: 10 singing roles 1111-2210-02-synth-str Percussion: Timpani (2), Side drum (w/ snare), 5 Tom-toms (also w/ brush), Cuica, Suspended cymbal, Cymbal on timpani, Tamtam (also w/ bow), Marimba, Vibraphone (w/ motor), Wood block, Whip, Guiro, Ratchet

Duration: 100

Autumn Gardens


for orchestra

2222-2000-11-str Perc: Glockenspiel, Tub.bells, Xylofono, 4 Tom-toms, Vibrafono, Timpani, Tam-tam

Duration: 28

Ballad for Harp and Strings [SALES MATERIAL]


hp-str also available as string quintet version

Duration: 10

Before the Icons

(1955 orch 2006)

for orchestra

33(III=ca)3(III=bcl)3(III=cfg)-4331-12-hp-str Perc: Snare drum, 4 Tom-toms, Piatto sospeso, Tamtam, Vibrafono, Tubular bells

Duration: 21

Bird Gardens [Second version]

Hommage à Zoltán Kodály (1982)

for string orchestra


Duration: 15

Canto I


for string orchestra


Duration: 6

Canto II


for string orchestra


Duration: 8

Canto III

A Portrait of the Artist at a Certain Moment (1972)

for string orchestra

str (min. 44442)

Duration: 9

Canto IV


for string orchestra


Duration: 17

Cantus arcticus

Concerto for Birds and Orchestra (1972)

for orchestra

2222-2210-11(piatti,tam-tam)-hp-cel-str +tape cd (also available at http://fennica.digital)

Duration: 17

Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra


222(II=bcl)2(II=cfg)-4221-12-hp-str Perc: 4 Tom-toms, Bass drum, Tamtam, Marimba, Vibraphone, Tubular bells

Duration: 26

Concerto for Harp and Orchestra


2222-4220-12-2hp-str Percussione: Tom-tom, Gran cassa, Vibrafono, Campane, Flexaton

Duration: 23

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra


2222-4330-13-hp-cel-str Perc: Tubular bells, tam-tam, silofono, marimba, tom-tom, Glockenspiel, gran cassa, castagnette, cabaca, sleigh bells, blocks, whip

Duration: 27

Concerto grottesco [SALES MATERIAL]


for wind orchestra

2222-2211-11-2cb Percussion: Snare drum, Suspended cymbal, Triangle, Wood block 1. Fughetta (1'15) 2. Träumerei (2') 3. Scherzo (1'15) 4. Alla marcia (1')

Duration: 6

Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra



Duration: 22

Concerto No. 3 for Piano and Orchestra

Gift of Dreams (1998)

2222-4220-12-str Percussion: Snare drum, 4 Tom-toms, Bass drum, Tamtam (large), Gong (about 30'), Xylophone, Vibraphone, Tubular bells

Duration: 27

Die Liebenden

Version for string orchestra (1958-59)

for soprano and string orchestra

str 1. Liebes-Lied 2. Der Schauende 3. Die Liebende 4. Der Tod der Geliebten

Duration: 16

Die Liebenden [SALES MATERIAL]

Version for string quintet

for soprano and string quintet


Duration: 16



for violin and orchestra


Duration: 5

Epitaph for Béla Bartók


for string orchestra


Duration: 6

Eron hetki on kalveakasvo

Charlottas's Monologue from the opera Aleksis Kivi (1997)

opera excerpt for female voice and orchestra

002(II=cl.b)0-0000-01-str percussione: Vibraphone

Duration: 6

Finnish Myth [SALES MATERIAL], A

Suomalainen myytti (1977)

for string orchestra


Duration: 7

Four songs from the opera "Rasputin"

Neljä laulua oopperasta "Rasputin"

for mixed choir and orchestra

3(III=picc)3(III=ca)3(III=bcl)3(III=cfg)-4331-14-2hp-str Percussione: Snare drum, 4 Tom-toms, Tam-tam, Vibraphone, Tubular bells, Musical saw, Frusta, Flexaton, Lions roar, Cuica 1. Troikka kiitää (1'30) 2. Koston aika (2'30) 3. En pelkää nyt (2'30) 4. Loista, Siion, loista! (3'30)

Duration: 10

Four Songs from the opera Aleksis Kivi

Neljä laulua oopperasta Aleksis Kivi (1997)

for baritone and orchestra

002(II=cl.basso)0-0000-02-DX7(ad lib.)-str 1. Ikävyys 2. Laulu oravasta 3. Oi mailma, elämä sä ihmeellinen 4. Sydämeni laulu

Duration: 18

Fünf Sonette an Orpheus


for soprano and orchestra

2222-2220-10-hp-str 1. Da stieg ein Baum 2. Und fast ein Mädchen wars 3. Ein Gott vermags 4. O ihr zärtlichen 5. Errichtet keinen Denkstein Soloist range b - G2. Available also half step lower (a# - F#2).

Duration: 15

Garden of Spaces

Regular Sets of Elements in Semiregular Situations (1971)

for orchestra

3000-3100-02-pf-str(min.44040) Percussione: 4 Timpani, 4 Tom-toms, Piatto sospeso, Tamtam, Glockenspiel

Duration: 12



for voice and string orchestra

str 1. Gud’s väg 2. Barnet 3. Pingst 4. Dröm i katedralen

Duration: 7

Hommage à Liszt Ferenc


for string orchestra

vl I, II, III, vc, db

Duration: 6

Ikävyys (Melancholy)

From Four Songs from the Opera Aleksis Kivi (1997)

for baritone and orchestra


Duration: 4



for voice and orchestra


Duration: 2

Isle of Bliss / Lintukoto


for orchestra

2222-2110-11-hp-str Percussione: Vibrafono, Legno, Tamtam

Duration: 10



Cantata for speaker, mixed choir and percussion

Percussion: Timpani, Tamburo militare, Tom-tom, Bongos, Piatto, Vibrafono, Tubular bells, Woodblock, Guero

Duration: 37

Kaivos / The Mine [complete opera]


Opera in three acts

3(I=picc).3(III=c.ing).3(III=cl.b).3(III=c.fag)-4(I-IV+wagner tuba).2.2.1-1.2-hp-cel-str, tape=alto sax, ten sax, 3 tr, trombone, bass, drums Solists: sopr solo, 2ten solo, 2baryt solo, 2basso solo, speaker, chx+chs Percussion: Snare drum, Triangle, Cymbals a2, Suspended cymbal, Gong, Tam-tam, Bass drum

Duration: 80

Kiusaukset / The Temptations / Les tentations

Allegorical Ballet in One Act (1969)


Duration: 30



for children’s chorus and strings

Score and parts available for sale (9790550118720)

Duration: 15

Laulu oravasta (The Squirrel)

From Four Songs from the Opera Aleksis Kivi (1997)

for baritone and orchestra


Duration: 4

Marjatta matala neiti [SALES MATERIAL]

Suomalainen mysteeri (1977)

for SA chorus with 5 soloists and instrumental ensemble

fl-perc-org(or string quartet)

Duration: 25

Meren tytär

Konsertto sopraanolle, kuorolle ja orkesterille (1971)

for soprano solo, mixed choir and orchestra

3(III=picc)3(III=ca)3(III=bcl)3(III=cfg)-4331-12-hp-str Percussione: Tamburo militare, Side drum, Tenor drum, Gran cassa, Piatto, 2 Tamtams, Gong

Duration: 17



for orchestra

3(III=picc)3(III=ca)3(III=bcl)3(III=cfg)-4331-13-str Percussione: Side drum, 3 Tom-toms, Gran cassa, Piatto sospeso, 3 Tamtams, Marimba, Silofono, Vibrafono, Triangolo, Castagnetti, Woodblock, Maracas

Duration: 13

Nikolain monologi / The Monologue of Tsar Nicholas

from the opera Rasputin (2001-03)

opera excerpt for bass and orchestra


Duration: 5

Octet for Winds



Duration: 15

Violin Concerto (II Energico)
BIS CD 1315 Lahti Symphony Orchestra, cond. Osmo Vänskä, sol. Jaakko Kuusisto
(BIS Records CD-1315)

Symphony No. 1 (I Andante)
National Orchestra of Belgium, cond. Mikko Franck
(Ondine Records CD-1064-5)

Symphony 7 Angel of Light (I Tranquillo)
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Leif Segerstam
(Ondine Records CD- 869-2)

Cantus arcticus, Concerto for Birds and Orchestra (I The Bog)
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Leif Segerstam
(Ondine Records CD-1041-2)

All-Night Vigil (Vigilia) (Final Blessing)
Finnish Radio Chamber Choir, cond. Timo Nuoranne
(Ondine Records CD-910-2)