Outi Tarkiainen's portrait album with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Outi Tarkiainen's portrait album with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
© Anu Jormalainen


On February 2, 2024, Outi Tarkiainen's portrait album Midnight Sun Variations recorded by Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Nicholas Collon was released by Ondine.

The album presents Tarkiainen's life-affirming orchestral music with Midnight Sun VariationsSongs of the Ice, The Ring of Fire and Love and her English Horn Concerto Milky Ways with star soloist Nicholas Daniel.


Midnight Sun Variations

It is not our fault if, in your country, dream and reality are so closely bound together that one cannot well distinguish one from the other.
– Robert Crottet on the land of the Lappish Skolts (Fôrets de la lune, 1949)

Midnight Sun Variations is about the light in the arctic summer night. A sky painted in music, through the sparkling percussion and the cascading notes of the strings and woodwinds.

Songs of the Ice

The fabric of Tarkiainen’s work is the echoing, long-resonating, existential poetry of vast masses. The clear timbres, nature harmonies, spurts and reflections create a floating body of sound. In the final seconds the glittering crystals give way to a bullroarer impression: the wind sweeps over them, not…The end is gripping.
– Susanna Välimäki, Helsingin Sanomat

In the Arctic region, the ice breathes with the seasons, swelling in winter and shrinking in summer. Its age-old movement sings a song of its own: slowly surging, unrelenting and covering all beneath it. It tinkles and rumbles, squeaks and laments as our ever-warmer climate breaks Nature’s time-honoured laws, forcing the ice to give way.

Songs of the Ice and Midnight Sun Variations contitute a pair. The two works can be performed both together and separately. 

The Ring of Fire and Love

In ‘The Ring of Fire and Love’, Tarkiainen perfectly exploits the tonal possibilities of the classical orchestra with the involvement of four percussionists, creating a triumphal march around the world.
– Michael Klier, Bachtrack

The exploration of the link between nature and maternal identity is at the core of Tarkiainen’s compositions. 
The Ring of Fire and Love takes this exploration to volcanic depths, igniting a fire within the audience. 

Milky Ways

We all began life on milky ways. Milky, as the bronze-sheathed infant gaze halts and entices the Fountainhead of God to flow. The bubbling life force nourishes but is also the greatest of all forms of tenderness, closeness and primitive interaction.
–Outi Tarkiainen

Milky Ways' three movements swirl through the orchestra, sinuously inviting the audience on a journey. An other-worldly journey, given shape by the harp and celesta, accompanied by a cosmic wind of murmuring strings. 




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