Three Kalevala Songs (2014)
Commissioned by Oratorio Chorale
SATB | 7:00

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Program Note: 
Finland’s national epic poem, the Kalevala, begins with a creation myth that centers on a virgin birth. Like the story of Christmas, these verses remind us that ours is, indeed, a world of miracles. The short Three Kalevala Songs were composed in Philadelphia during the fall of 2014 and were commissioned by the Oratorio Chorale and Emily Isaacson. The texts are adapted by the composer from W.F. Kirby's 1907 translation. 


from the Kalevala, Runo I. Translated by W.F. Kirby (1907).

Air’s young daughter was a virgin,
Fairest daughter of Creation.
Long did she abide a virgin,
All the long days of her girlhood,
In the Air’s own spacious mansions,
In those far extending regions.

Wearily the time passed ever.
And her life became a burden,
Dwelling evermore so lonely,
Always living as a maiden,
In the Air’s own spacious mansions,
In those far-extending deserts.

After this the maid descending,
Sank upon the tossing billows,
On the open ocean’s surface,
On the wide expanse of water.

Then a storm arose in fury,
From the East a mighty tempest,
And the sea was wildly foaming,
And the waves dashed ever higher.

Thus the tempest rocked the virgin,
And the billows drove the maiden,
O’er the ocean’s azure surface,
On the crest of foaming billows,
Till the wind that blew around her,
And the sea woke life within her.