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One still regularly hears earlier recordings of hymns by the Oulainen Youth Choir played on Finnish radio (YLE) to accompany morning or evening prayers. Director Tapani Tirilä has kept the choir’s repertoire open and flexible but hymn-singing, such a key part of Finnish primary school education, always sounds like its heartland, delivered simply and unaffectedly. Hymn number 485 Kun koulutyöni alkaa taas is explicitly for the beginning of the new school year, number 571 Jo joutui armas alka for its end in summer time. The language may be unfamiliar but the rich ‘instrumental’ singing is universal. A quite delightful recording.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Choir & Organ, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing