Talasniemi, Johanna

Master of Music

 

DOCTORAL PROJECT

Johanna Talasniemi: Aulikki Rautawaara as a Performer of Sibelius’ Songs. Cultural Historical Singer Research.

Abstract of the written thesis

Aulikki Rautawaara (1906–1990) as a performer of Jean Sibelius’ songs is the subject of my doctoral thesis. The aim is to produce new knowledge for the research fields of music performers and especially singers. What songs by Sibelius Rautawaara performed, in what kind of situations she performed them, how she interpreted them and how her work was received are the central questions. The method is based on a hermeneutic and empathic research of history, supplemented with my experience as a professional singer. The essential research materials are the scrapbooks of Rautawaara, the concert programs, her sheet music collection, her recordings and her interviews on radio and television. Because the research material compounds both literal and sounding elements the emphatic and hermeneutic way of interpreting involves the reading of literal material, listening to recordings and singing of Rautawaara’s Sibelius repertoire. The time of her career was a dramatic one. Rautawaara experienced the Nazi Regime while living and working in Berlin in the 1930s. Wartime in the 1940s in Finland influenced the singer’s acts strongly. When studying musicianship in the context of the occasions and currents of the era, along with the music, a cultural historical and political frame are necessary for this research.