Concert evaluation The concert of the Radio Symphony Orchestra featured vocals, improvisation and the fine third of Sibelius

During the whole pandemic, I have not heard a concert loaded in this way when played in an empty hall, writes HS critic Sonja Saarikoski.

Classical music

Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Music Hall. Webern, Zinoviev, Sibelius. Head. Sakari Oramo, sol. Sirja Nironen

Anton Webernin Five songs for orchestra is not the easiest start to a concert. In a work of only about five minutes, every voice matters: there is no time to “descend into the mood,” for it has already gone. Is – Simone Weilia in accordance with – agree the necessity of time.

Sakari Oramon led by the Radio Symphony Orchestra agreed on Friday. Many colors were transmitted. Even if you don’t be the first to think about the length of the work or the soundtrack, you can find influences in it Gustav Mahlerin symphonies.

Webern had heard Mahler, the composer of the Eighth Symphony himself, shortly before he began composing, and was To Arnold Schönberg in his letter deeply impressed. Although Five songs for orchestra has been composed for a small ensemble, its tonal colors and the use of instruments – harp, celesta, mandolin, guitar – the symphonies have certainly given ideas.

Concert the second work was Sauli Zinoviev a cello concerto played as a soloist Sirja Nironen. He has also premiered the work. In the performance of Zinoviev’s music, he has excelled especially in recent years Klaus Mäkelä, and for contemporary music it is quite common in orchestral repertoire.

As the composer himself said in an interview heard before the work, the cello concerto moves quite differently from Webern’s petty expression. The starting point for the concert has been Nietzschen poem Abschieddescribing – Winterreisen in the spirit – the inability of a lonely, much-lost person to stop his search and stay put.

Zinoviev said that he composed the poem quite directly, including the crackers of crows, but the listener’s mind can also wander in other directions in the broad and contrasting soundscape of the work, which skillfully utilizes the pain brought by a small second. It is built on the four cadences of the cello, without fear of repetition either; that sometimes the world with all the sounds of the orchestra influence equivalent as the individual shouts there.

The concerto may not offer a “solution” to an existential question – which is an honor to it – but in the space it creates, the questions it poses do not remain one-dimensional, but move from a cramp to a dreamy melancholy.

Nironen interpreted the concert in his own voice, in a toned and natural way. His playing dares to be not only lyrically beautiful, but also “ugly” when needed. In this concert, ugliness was specifically demanded. The bow squeezed into a fist, claustrophobia seeping through. The performance was impressive.

Also impressive was Nironen’s encore as an improvisation played immediately after the concert, in which he also sang a piece of Nietzsche’s poem. Similar throws have been served on this stage Patricia Kopatchinskaya and Kari Kriikku, but not very many others. When the convention is violated, more space is created – even now. It’s taking things seriously, and taking yourself less seriously.

As Nietzsche has said: I have never copied anyone, and I laugh at all the masters who lack the ability to laugh at themselves.

Concert finally heard Sibelius third symphony. It is a work that secretly changes its starting point to a different kind. The most skillful variety of metamorphosis, therefore.

The best interpretations, on the other hand, are such that one does not consider a) other interpretations b) other possibilities. In other words, the past and the future become irrelevant.

In the first part, the phrasing felt spontaneous and archetypal at the same time. The enormous longing and subtly changing themes of the second part came to be interpreted warmly and comfortingly. In the third part, enthusiasm and gradual clarification took over the field. I realized I hadn’t thought throughout the performance that this is a stream and an orchestra playing without an audience. The intensity was huge.

I probably haven’t heard a concert like this loaded during the pandemic, played in an empty hall.


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