The Finnish landscape is an influence that Rautavaara readily acknowledges in his music.
Folk-tales originally gathered in the countryside were an integral part of national identity and, as a young boy, his father used to tell him tales from the Kalevala, Finland's folk-lore epic, as bedtime stories.
Yet, when it came to music, Rautavaara initially steered clear of Finland's folklore.
He felt that the Kalevala belonged to his forebear Sibelius rather than to a young composer, but later on, in works such as The First Runo for chamber choir, Rautavaara found the means to express his connection with his folk heritage.
Hannu Norjanen (conductor)
Finlandia, 3984-21444-2, CD 1 track 6
A Soldier's Mass
Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
Clark Rundell (conductor)
Chandos CHAN10038, tracks 2-5
The First Runo
Paul Brough (conductor)
Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra
Juha Kangas (conductor)
Ondine ODE 836-2
Thomas (excerpt from Act 3)
Anssi Hirvonen (tenor)
Hannu Sokka and Jaakko Hietikko (basses)
Sini Rautavaara (soprano)
Peter Lindroos (tenor)
Matti Pipponen (tenor)
Antti Suhonen (baritone)
Jorma Hynninen (baritone)
Choir of the Joensuu Music School
Savonlinna Opera Festival Chorus
Joensuu City Orchestra
Pekka Haapasalo (conductor)
Ondine, ODE 704-2, disc 2, tracks 11-15
A Finnish Myth
Ondine, ODE 836-2, track 6