by Tapio Tuomela

Empty sheet

Tapio Tuomela



Itkuvirsi – Lament

The Karelian Lament tradition is now under strong renaissance. The melody opening this scene was detected in the oldest archive recordings, made as early as at the end of the 19th century and sung by the great rune song master Iivana Onoila. The piece is an excerpt from Tuomela's Kalevala-inspired opera The Mothers and Daughters. It comes from a scene where the Don Juan -like hero Lemminkäinen leaves Saari (The Island), shocked by the suicide of one of his mistresses, who turned out to be his sister.

Free translation of the Finnish text by Paavo Haavikko – written in the Kalevala rhythm – by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi:

The maidens of the Island wept
Until his sail disappeared
They were left on the shore, poor ones,
Wretched ones upon the rocks.

A wind came a-blowing,
a billow came a-washing.

There is one who is not weeping,
She left without saying goodbye
She is my daughter
She left without saying goodbye
She is under the waters.

I shall go there, too
To be a grebe on the night-waters
To the broad blue waters,
To the wide-open sea.


voc (mezzosopr.), pno


Vocal and Choral Works

Premiere Scene from the opera Mothers and Daughters

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