The Kalevala is the signature work of traditional Finnish culture. In story after story, it explores the human and divine world as understood by the traditional runic singers of the north. It sings of how the universe came to be, how the natural world works, how divine and supernatural worlds relate to the world of humankind, how human beings relate to each other, how good and evil and life and death function in the world.
Many of the stories focus on Wainamoinen, old and trustiy, an ancient singer, magician, and chieftain of the land of Kalevala. He plays a leading part in the struggle of the land of Kalevala against the land of Pohyola, the realm of warmth and light against the realm of cold and darkness. His brother, the blacksmith Ilmarinen, and the reckless young magician Lemminkainen, wage war with Louhi, the ancient woman, leader of the people of Pohyola. This is a war in which songs and magic are as much weapons as are swords and arrows, in which adventure can begin anywhere and victory is as much a matter of wit and ingenuity as of strength and courage.
This recording is of the English translation of John Martin Crawford, which follows the original, traditional meter - the meter which Longfellow knew from the Kalevala and which he used in his famous Song of Hiawatha. In this translation, to help the listener follow the story, the names of characters and places are pronounced as they would be in English except for the leading character, Wainamoinen. Please enjoy these wonderful stories from a Nordic world of magic and adventure, of darkness and light! Download and start listening now!