Einojuhani Rautavaara The Gift of the Magi (Tietäjien lahja)
A Christmas Opera; Sung in Finnish
Pia Freund, Jaakko Kortekangas Martti Wallén, Anna-Lisa Jakobsson Lassi Virtanen
Veräjäpelto Choir Tapiola Sinfonietta Petri Sakari, conductor
Gabrielle Faust, producer Hannu Heikinheimo, TV director
Including the Rautavaara-Documentary "Gift of Dreams"
Picture format: NTSC 4:3 (opera) / 16:9 (documentary) Sound format: PCM Stereo Menu Languages: German, French, English, Spanish Subtitle Languages: German, French, English, Spanish Region code: 0 (worldwide) Running time: 96 mins (45 mins opera + 51 mins documentary) No. of DVDs: 1 (DVD 9)
"Rautavaara is one of the most imaginative and distinctive of living composers" MusicWeb
Created specially for television and recorded in studio, this short opera by one of today's most eminent Finnish composers is based on a Christmas story by the American writer O. Henry.
The telling of the story is unsentimental, Hannu Heikinheimo's staging exquisitely observed, and Rautavaara's music powerfully compelling. The Christmas message finds a truly imaginative and unequivocal expression in The Gift of the Magi.
The disc includes a bonus documentary about Rautavaara entitled The Gift of Dreams. "Accustomed as many of us have become, to new opera with decidedly unmusical (not to say dreary) lines for the singers, the skill with which Rautavaara writes manageable, interesting and attractive music for every type of voice, is a genuine delight to the ear." MusicWeb