wed 22/02/2017

Finland

Hevisaurus, RFH

The idea of a heavy metal rock band for children might be somewhat lacking in appeal for some. Images of leather and chains, frightening make-up, Anthrax-style roaring into a microphone and satanic lyrics for dear little Jonti, all a bit...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Fauré, Poulenc, Franui, Sami Junnonen

Aubade – Music by Fauré and Poulenc Västerås Sinfonietta/Howard Shelley (piano and conductor) (dB Productions)January blues? Those afflicted should self-medicate with this collection instead of nipping down to the nearest off-licence. Nothing cheers...

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Albums of the Year: Mikko Joensuu - Amen 1

Five new albums released over the year have dominated 2016: Marissa Nadler’s Strangers (May), Mikko Joensuu’s Amen 1 (June), Jessica Sligter’s A Sense of Growth (July), Arc Iris’s Moon Saloon (August) and Wolf People’s Ruins (November). Next year,...

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Wallfisch, LPO, Vänskä, RFH

Osmo Vänskä isn't by any means the only Finn who conducts magnificent Sibelius. Sakari Oramo is the BBC Symphony Orchestra's property, but the London Philharmonic could have gone for a change and invited Vänskä's equally impressive and even more...

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Callow, Hough, LPO, Vänskä, RFH

2015, Sibelius anniversary year, yielded no London performances of the composer's last masterpiece, the Prospero's farewell of his incidental music to The Tempest. With Shakespeare400, 2016 has already made amends: even if the Bardic input came...

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Tony Allen and Jimi Tenor, Café OTO

Questions of what is authentic and what is retro get more complicated the more the information economy matures. Music from decades past that only tens or hundreds of people heard at the time it was made becomes readily available, gets sampled by new...

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Just in From Scandinavia: Nordic Music Round-Up 15

Is language a barrier to international recognition? Is English necessary to make waves worldwide? Musicians from the African continent and South America regularly perform in their native tongue beyond the borders of their home countries. But often...

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theartsdesk in Lahti: Sibelius 150, Sibelius Hall

When Lahti’s Sibelius Hall finally shone and coruscated into life in 2000, the 100,000 citizens of this modest Finnish town, not to mention acousticians from all over the world, could hardly believe their eyes and ears. Here, at last, was not only a...

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Prom 43: BBCSO, Vänskä

Nearly 10 years ago to the day, an almost unknown 24-year-old Venezuelan conductor came a cropper when valiantly stepping in at short notice to conduct Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony at the Proms. (His name was Gustavo Dudamel. Whatever happened to him...

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Prom 42: Rachlin, BBCSSO, Volkov

A second night of Sibelius symphonies at the Proms, packed to the rafters just like its predecessor. Exit Thomas Dausgaard, the tuba needed for the first two symphonies but not for the Third or – surprising given its pervasive darkness – the Fourth...

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Prom 40: BBCSSO, Dausgaard

From Sakari Oramo’s riveting Nielsen symphonies at the Barbican to Thomas Dausgaard kicking off the Proms’ Sibelius cycle, the two Nordic immortals are well served in their 150th birthday year. The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, whose reins...

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Prom 13: Josefowicz, BBCSO, Mälkki

A packed Albert Hall told an instructive story: programme Holst’s The Planets at the Proms and you can dare to do anything in the first half. Besides, though it will be a red letter day when we don’t have to put “women” in front of “conductors”, the...

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