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Ondine Store: October 19, 2010

Ondine
The celebrated Finnish classical label Ondine is celebrating its 25th year of outstanding recordings, and Classical Archives is proud to join the festivities by creating a special Ondine Spotlight. Our “Ondine Store” presents a specially selected collection of 25 releases made over the years, featuring such outstanding members of the Ondine roster as the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conductors Vladimir Ashkenazy and John Storgårds, and soloists such as soprano Karita Mattila and guitarist Timo Korhonen.

As a special gift, Ondine is offering all visitors to Classical Archives a free download: the complete recording of Beethoven’s monumental Emperor Piano Concerto performed by pianist Olli Mustonen and the Tapiola Sinfonietta.

The Spotlight also includes a brief overview of the company’s history and unique philosophy. Enjoy!

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Origins and History

The roots of Ondine date back to 1985 when founder Reijo Kiilunen released the very first Ondine album under the auspices of the renowned Finnish Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival. The label’s initial mission was to produce one live album at the Festival each season. The fourth album, however, featured Einojuhani Rautavaara’s opera Thomas (ODE 704-2), raising major international attention and opening the ground for overseas distribution. Kiilunen, who was running the Festival’s concert agency and had begun the recording activity part-time, soon decided to devote himself fully to the development of this new business, producing and editing the first 50 releases himself.

In 1991, Seppo Siirala joined as producer, and the Helsinki-based company has been expanding steadily since, currently numbering six full-time employees. Ondine has released 400 carefully selected CDs, Hybrid SACDs and DVDs, with around 250 titles remaining in its active catalogue. The label’s discs enjoy wide international distribution and are also available for digital download from several online outlets.

Over the years, Ondine has established itself as one of the most respected labels in classical music, and its products have received numerous prizes at the Cannes (MIDEM) Classical Awards, the Gramophone Awards, the BBC Music Magazine Awards and the Classical Internet Awards. In a larger context, Ondine’s history of success has played a part in the strong development of Finland’s cultural visibility internationally, which has gone hand in hand with the economic and technological rise of the country since the mid-1990s. The label of origin "Made in Finland" is today widely recognized as a guaranty of exceptional quality and reliability and Ondine is proud to have shared in the forging of this reputation.

The Ondine Philosophy

For over twenty years, Ondine has remained true to its founding principle, the uncompromising devotion to excellence in recorded music. The label’s mission is to support new creative efforts in the field of contemporary music, and to showcase renditions by top-rank artists that bring a new dimension to established works of the classical repertoire.

Building on the extraordinary abundance of musical talent in Finland, Ondine has, since its beginnings, maintained a strong commitment to championing the best in Finnish contemporary music and world-class Finnish artists. Hence, the company’s success has been inextricably linked with the careers of living composers such as Einojuhani Rautavaara, Magnus Lindberg and Kaija Saariaho. A prestigious roster of artists such as star sopranos Karita Mattila and Soile Isokoski, pianist Olli Mustonen, clarinetist Kari Kriikku, guitarist Timo Korhonen and violinist Pekka Kuusisto, to name only a few, has contributed to establish Ondine as the face of Finland on the international market of recorded classical music.

In synergy with the increasing presence of Finnish artists and composers on the international stage, Ondine has, in parallel, developed its international profile by intensifying collaboration with non-Finnish artists. Ondine has notably attracted stars such as Vladimir Ashkenazy and Christoph Eschenbach and developed innovative partnerships with prestigious orchestras. In 2005, Ondine and The Philadelphia Orchestra signed a groundbreaking partnership agreement, the Orchestra’s first recording contract in ten years and an event that was extensively covered by the international press.

Recording nearly the complete works by Einojuhani Rautavaara has remained one of Ondine’s great successes. A real boom began with the release of the best-selling CD Angel of Light in 1996. Non-Finnish contemporary composers with whom Ondine has closely collaborated include Christopher Rouse, John Corigliano and Julian Anderson.

An exceptional case in the world of independent labels, Ondine has increasingly expanded its recorded repertoire from chamber to orchestral music and opera. Strong partnerships have linked Ondine to the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Tampere Philharmonic and the Tapiola Sinfonietta, in addition to the Orchestre de Paris and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Ondine recordings feature conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leif Segerstam, Sakari Oramo, John Storgårds, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Mikko Franck and Oliver Knussen.

Ondine’s reputation is partially founded on its high standards of sound quality, sculptured essentially by sound engineer Enno Mäemets and producer Seppo Siirala. Currently all recordings are, naturally, made in Super Audio quality.

A reference to the beautiful, mercurial water nymph in the first movement of Maurice Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit, Ondine’s name reflects the living spirit that has guided the label throughout its history: an unconditional belief in quality, a boundless love for music, and a firm vision of the future of recording.

For more information, visit the Ondine website.

Ottorino Respighi: Concerto in Modo Misolidio; Fontane di Roma
Sakari Oramo

CDs: 1
Tracks: 7

Ondine
Rel. 28 Sep 2010

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$10.43
 
Rautavaara: Complete Works for String Orchestra
Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Juha Kangas

CDs: 2
Tracks: 21

Ondine
Rel. 1 Jan 1994

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$17.99
Martinu, B.: Piano Concertos Nos.2 and 4, etc.
Various Artists

CDs: 1
Tracks: 9

Ondine
Rel. 17 Nov 2009

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$10.91
 
Suomalainen Rukous ('Finnish Sacred Songs')
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Soile Isokoski

CDs: 1
Tracks: 20

Ondine
Rel. 1 Jan 2003

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$11.99
Magnus Lindberg: Clarinet Concerto; Gran Duo; Chorale
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sakari Oramo

CDs: 1
Tracks: 3

Ondine
Rel. 1 Jan 2005

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$8.47
 
Uuno Klami
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, John Storgårds

CDs: 1
Tracks: 8

Ondine
Rel. 26 Jan 2010

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$11.99
Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos.4 and 5
Tapiola Sinfonietta, Olli Mustonen

CDs: 1
Tracks: 6

Ondine
Rel. 27 Oct 2009

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$11.99
 
Sibelius: Violin Concerto; The Wood Nymph
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, John Storgårds

CDs: 1
Tracks: 5

Ondine
Rel. 24 Aug 2010

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$10.45
Rautavaara: Before the Icons a Tapestry of Life
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Leif Segerstam

CDs: 1
Tracks: 14

Ondine
Rel. 27 Apr 2010

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$11.99
 
Rachmaninov: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Sigvards Klava

CDs: 1
Tracks: 18

Ondine
Rel. 27 Apr 2010

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$11.99
Unexpected Encounters: A Selection of Piano Sonatas by Joseph Haydn
Tzimon Barto

CDs: 1
Tracks: 15

Ondine
Rel. 27 Oct 2009

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$11.99
 
Talescapes
Various Artists

CDs: 1
Tracks: 9

Ondine
Rel. 26 Jan 2010

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$9.91
Magnus Lindberg: Graffiti; Seht Die Sonne
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sakari Oramo

CDs: 1
Tracks: 9

Ondine
Rel. 23 Feb 2010

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$10.41
 
Bach: Partitas for Solo Violin
Timo Korhonen

CDs: 2
Tracks: 19

Ondine
Rel. 29 Jun 2010

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$17.99
The Irresistible Karita Mattila
Karita Mattila

CDs: 1
Tracks: 14

Ondine
Rel. 27 Apr 2010

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$11.99
 
Tchaikovsky: Complete Works for Violin and Piano
Oleg Kagan

CDs: 1
Tracks: 7

Ondine
Rel. 1 Jan 2002

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$10.43
Sibelius: String Quartets
Jean Sibelius Quartet

CDs: 1
Tracks: 9

Ondine
Rel. 1 Jan 1991

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$11.41
 
Elgar: Cello Concerto; Schnittke: Viola Concerto
Philharmonia Orchestra, David Aaron Carpenter

CDs: 1
Tracks: 7

Ondine
Rel. 25 Aug 2009

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$11.93
Heitor Villa-Lobos: 12 Etudes (Original Version, 1928); Leo Brouwer: Estudios sencillos
Timo Korhonen

CDs: 1
Tracks: 32

Ondine
Rel. 1 Jan 2004

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$11.99
 
John Corigliano: Phantasmagoria; To Music; Fantasia on an Ostinato; Three Hallucinations
Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra (Finland), Eri Klas

CDs: 1
Tracks: 6

Ondine
Rel. 1 Jan 2005

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$10.44
Rautavaara: Book of Visions
Belgian National Orchestra, Mikko Franck

CDs: 1
Tracks: 8

Ondine
Rel. 1 Jan 2005

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$11.99
 
Peteris Vasks: Pater Noster
Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Klava

CDs: 1
Tracks: 7

Ondine
Rel. 1 Jan 2007

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$9.93
Einojuhani Rautavaara: Complete Works for Male Choir
Various Artists

CDs: 2
Tracks: 37

Ondine
Rel. 1 Jan 2008

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$17.99
 
Josef Suk: Asrael
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy

CDs: 1
Tracks: 5

Ondine
Rel. 1 Jan 2009

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$10.95
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake
Russian National Orchestra, Mikhail Pletnev

CDs: 2
Tracks: 50

Ondine
Rel. 23 Feb 2010

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$17.99
 

 
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