tue 21/11/2017

Finland

Lake Keitele: A Vision of Finland review, National Gallery - light-filled northern vistas

Finland is celebrating its centenary this year and the National Gallery's exhibition of four paintings by Akseli Gallen-Kalela (1865-1931) of a very large lake in central Finland is a beguiling glimpse of the passion its inhabitants attach to its...

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CD: Siinai - Sykli

The sensation evoked by Sykli is that it documents a voyage, one beginning with anticipation for what will come and then journeying through diffuse territory which could be an endless, mist-filled valley, anywhere beyond this solar system or within...

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Santtu-Matias Rouvali on conducting in Gothenburg - 'they just want to make music. No bullshit'

Sweden's ackowledged "National Orchestra", the Gothenburg Symphony, left its Chief Conductor post unfilled for four seasons, but now it's finally certain to have let the right one in. Having enjoyed a golden age in the (largely unsung) highest...

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Kuusisto, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - Icelanders fare better than Sibelius

London orchestras do communicate with each other, sometimes at least, when it comes to programming. It can’t have been a coincidence that on Wednesday we had one Finnish chief conductor, Sakari Oramo launching his BBC Symphony Orchestra Sibelius...

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Pogostkina, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - human emotions in Sibelius's heaven

It was on the strength of a single concert including a startling Sibelius Luonnotar and Third Symphony, thankfully reported here, that Sakari Oramo was appointed Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. We had to wait a while for more major...

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Prom 61 review: Fleming, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Oramo - heliotropic ecstasies

No sunshine without shadows was one possible theme rippling through this diva sandwich of a Prom. Even Richard Strauss's chaste nymph Daphne, achieving longed-for metamorphosis as a tree, finds darkness among the roots; and though Renée "The...

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CD: Man Duo - Orbit

True to their name, Finland’s Man Duo are male and there are two of them. The better-known half is former Helsinki tram driver Jaakko Eino Kalevi. Born Jaakko Savolainen – the Kalevi nods to his home country’s epic tale, The Kalevala – his long solo...

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Tom of Finland review - engaging biopic of gay pioneer

Finnish director Dome Karukoski has made a sympathetic and quietly stylish biopic of Touko Laaksonen, the artist who did as much as anyone to define 20th century male gay visual culture. There’s a degree of irony in the fact that we know him by...

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Kuusisto, London Chamber Orchestra, Ashkenazy, Cadogan Hall

Tears were likely to flow freely on this most beautiful and terrible of June evenings, especially given a programme – dedicated by Vladimir Ashkenazy to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire – already prone to the elegiac. It could hardly...

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The Other Side of Hope review - Aki Kaurismäki at his tragicomic best

It takes real skill to make a film about a desperate Syrian refugee and a dour middle-aged Finn reinventing himself and turn it into the warmest, most life-enhancing film I’ve seen this year. But Aki Kaurismäki has form, he’s been making movies...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Wigwam

Over 1972 to 1975, Finland staged a small-scale invasion of Britain. A friendly one, it was confined to music. First, the progressive rock band Tasavallan Presidentti came to London in May 1972 and played Ronnie Scott’s. The Sunday Times’ Derek...

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BBC Singers, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

It's official: if you want to be guaranteed an infallible musical adrenalin boost in London, you can always be sure to find it with Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo and his BBC Symphony Orchestra. And it's not just a question of splashy excitement:...

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