Unto_album cover

Tango-orkesteri Unto: Yön tummat siivet – Dark Wings of the Night (Finnish Tango, Volume II)
Record company: ARC Music
Catalog number: EUCD 2575

1. Juna (Train) 2012
(comp. Anna-Mari Kähärä; lyrics Anna-Leena Härkönen; arr. Tango-orkesteri Unto)

We are pleased to begin the album with this fiery tango chanson, a fine example of the fruitful collaboration between two masters of words and music, novelist Anna-Leena Härkönen and composer Anna-Mari Kähärä. Train is a song about a woman finally leaving a disappointing relationship: This train is leaving now, it dashes through the icy night [---] and my broken heart heals along the race. And I´m never coming back to you! (PA)

2. Katuviertä pitkin (Strolling in the Streets) 1950
(comp. Toivo Kärki; lyrics Rauni Kouta; arr. Tango-orkesteri Unto; ©Warner/Chappell Music Finland Oy)

A little gem originally composed to a 1950s music film Just minstrels, featuring The Red Mill, which was a popular variety theatre in Helsinki. A sad story of a couple that used to stroll in the streets together. Now one of them is taking his walks with someone else. Sigh. (PA)

3. Jos minut vielä kohtaat (If You Ever See Me Again) 1993
(comp. Erkki Rajamäki; lyrics Pirkko Arola; arr. Tango-orkesteri Unto; ©Suomen Mediamusiikki Oy)

If you ever see me again, you´ll only look into the cold waters in my eyes.
A rarely performed masterpiece from the Seinäjoki Tango Festival Composition Contest in 1993 and one of my favourites in Unto´s repertoire. Our arrangement with Piazzolla influenced accordion lines has an Almodóvaresque feeling. Listen to the delicate piano solo and that last note of the violin, heartbreaking.

 The night lays its head on the dewy grass, the light in your window is still burning bright [---] I wish for one thing only: I wish to forget you. (PA)

4. Yön tummat siivet (Dark Wings of the Night) 1966
(comp. & lyrics Unto Mononen; arr. Timo Alakotila; ©Warner/Chappell Music Finland Oy)

Unto Mononen´s dramatic piece from the height of the 1960s tango boom has it all: deception, bitterness, longing, and destiny that can ruin your happiness at whim. Luckily the night covers all the pain and provides shelter for the poor protagonist under its dark wings. (PA)

5. Eron hetki on kaunis (The Moment of Parting is Beautiful) 1948 
(comp. Toivo Kärki; lyrics H. Neva; arr. Tango-orkesteri Unto; ©Warner/Chappell Music Finland Oy)

The day´s work is done and the night quietly comes. It´s time to leaf through the book of memories and take a trip to the land of love lost. Then I remember the moment when we parted, I remember the beauty in the longing: the moment of parting is as beautiful as love itself. One of the cornerstones of Finnish tango repertoire, true and honest. (PA)

6. Huudetaan (Shouting) 2013
(comp. Johanna Juhola; lyrics Eppu Nuotio; arr. Tango-orkesteri Unto)

Was it you or was it me who lost it first? A startling portrayal of a heated argument and its passionate reconciliation. Eppu Nuotio´s lyrics inspired me to use a milonga like rhythm and write some swift parts for accordion and violin. (JJ)

7. Yön syli (Cradle of the Night) 2011
(comp. Johanna Juhola; lyrics Elina Lajunen; arr. Tango-orkesteri Unto)

 You are never alone in the night, you can leave your eternal longing behind you, when the night is filled with love. Now I can linger in your arms. Coming home from a milonga dance through the nocturnal city with a memory of dance steps still in my feet. This tango was originally written for Johanna Juhola Reaktori´s 2011 The Limits of Tango show. Now the song is happy to continue its existence in Unto’s repertoire. Elina Lajunen wrote the lyrics to the finished composition after she started hearing tones of the night and traces of the fading milonga in the music. (JJ)

8. Kotkan ruusu (The Rose of Kotka) 1969
(comp. Helvi Mäkinen; lyrics Leo Anttila; arr. Tango-orkesteri Unto; ©Warner/Chappell Music Finland Oy)

A starry night in the harbour of Kotka: black waves are beating against the pier and you can hear music and drunken singing from the bar nearby. Pleasures of the night are awaiting you. A young sailor is waiting for someone to pick him up and along comes The Rose of Kotka. This iconic tango features probably the best-known line in the Finnish tango repertoire: Tonight fortune favours the brave! (PA)

9. Hyljätty (Abandoned) 2013
(comp. Timo Alakotila; poem Marja-Liisa Vartio (1924–1966); arr. Timo Alakotila)

Whose hair does the river rock? A girl drowns herself in the river after being abandoned by her lover. Marja-Liisa Vartio’s tragic poem, which draws its metaphors from the nature, gave a great starting point to this composition. The band and the soloist did an amazing job with it. (TA)

10. Humalapuu (Hop Tree) 2013
(comp. Timo Alakotila; poem Ellen Niit / Finnish translation Anja Salokannel; arr. Timo Alakotila)

A happy poem by Estonian poet Ellen Niit inspired me to write a piece in a 7/8 feel. Very nice improvised solos from my favourite musicians! Under your eyes, to the edge of light. Together we bear the light burden of the wreath. (TA)

11. Miksi kerroit mulle valheen (Why Did You Tell Me a Lie) 1960
(comp. & lyrics Erik Lindström; arr. Tango-orkesteri Unto; ©Lindström Erik Ed.)

Erik Lindström is a master of sophisticated melodies. A love story begins as a lie but becomes true with some help from the moon, a hot kiss and the Cupid´s arrow. (PA)

12. Sade luo kuultavan hämärän (Rain Creates a Luminous Twilight) 2011
(comp. Anna-Mari Kähärä; poem Matti Rossi; arr. Tango-orkesteri Unto)

A man reminisces and reflects on his life while comforting a little bird he has found in the railway station hall. This was one of the first songs we started working on, when we began rehearsals for this album in Berlin in autumn 2012. I still remember the shivers running down my spine, when I first sang this arrangement. Thank you Berlin for the inspiration! (PA)

Notes by Pirjo Aittomäki (PA), Johanna Juhola (JJ) and Timo Alakotila (TA).


Tango-orkesteri Unto: Kylmä rakkaus – Cold Love (Finnish Tango, Volume II)
Record company: ARC Music
Catalog number: EUCD2281

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1. Kylmä rakkaus / Cold Love(Erik Lindström / Reino Helismaa – Timo Koivusalo)
2. Kadotetulle / To the Lost One (Anna-Mari Kähärä / Eeva-Liisa Manner)
3. Miksi juuri hän / Why Him? (Jussi Tuurna / Eppu Nuotio)
4. Ikkunan alla / Beneath the Window (Anna-Mari Kähärä / Marja-Leena Mikkola)
5. Rannalla / On the Shore (Vesa Tuomi)
6. Suomorsian / Swamp Bride (Johanna Juhola / Matti Rossi)
7. Yö ikkunan takana / Night Behind the Window (Unto Mononen / Unto Mononen & Solja Tuuli)
8. Tangon kotimaa / Homeland of Tango (Taisto Wesslin / Pauli Ylitalo)
9. Minä rakastan sinut / I love… (Timo Alakotila / Sinikka Svärd)
10. Sateen tango / Tango in the Rain (Unto Mononen / Unto Mononen & Solja Tuuli)
11. Satakielelle / To the Nightingale (Anna-Mari Kähärä / Viljo Kajava)
12. Hektinen hetki / Hectic Moment (Johanna Juhola)
13. Pajupensas / Willow Bush (Timo Alakotila / Marja-Liisa Vartio)
14. Siis unohtakaamme / So Let Us Forget(Anna-Mari Kähärä / Eeva-Liisa Manner)




Tango-orkesteri Unto: FINNISH Tango
Record company: ARC Music
Catalog number: EUCD 1830

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1. Tähdet meren yllä (Unto Mononen / Sauvo Puhtila)
2. Pieni sydän (Walter Rae / Tatu Pekkarinen)
3. Muista minua (Toivo Kärki / Reino Helismaa)
4. Avarasylisen naisen laulu (Anna-Mari Kähärä / Anna-Leena Härkönen)
5. Unelmia tuhlaa Holländer; Finnish lyrics Vesa Tapio Valo)
6. Preparense (Astor Piazzolla)
7. L´accordeoniste (Emer)
8. Muistathan, Barbara? (Joseph Kosma / Jacques Prévert; Finnish lyrics: Jukka Kemppinen)
9. Ilon kyynelet (Reino Markkula / Juha Vainio)
10. Hiljainen kylätie (Toivo Kärki / Reino Helismaa)
11. Ikävä omia maita (Anna-Mari Kähärä / Trad.)
12. Satumaa (Unto Mononen)
13. Siks´ oon mä suruinen (Toivo Kärki / Kerttu Mustonen)
14. Täysikuu (Toivo Kärki / Reino Helismaa)