Kaunein (Most Beautiful) was written in Helsinki during the winter of 2005-2006 while I undertaking a short, intensive Finnish language course. During this time I had the opportunity to again visit choirs I had first come to know during my Churchill Fellowship in 2001. The opportunity to spend further time with these wonderful choirs inspired me to compose this piece as my first attempt to work with Finnish text.
The romantic text is by the Finnish poet Arvo (Albin) Turtiainen (1904-1980). The text translates as:
The most beautiful poem is born
when one person is close to another;
simple and without bounds,
flows from one to the other.
Do not forget the most beautiful poem.
It is written on your brow, in your eyes,
on your lips and in your heart –
sealed for lovers to read,
sealed to inspire love.