sun 17/02/2019

Finland

Sophie Bevan, Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review - an Alpine blaze

With eyes swivelled towards who'll take over from Esa-Pekka Salonen as the Philharmonia's Principal Conductor in 2021, two of the strongest possibilities are to be found within the orchestra's masthead of associates. Another Finn, Santtu-Matias...

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DVD: A Moment in the Reeds

Mikko Makela’s debut feature is as sheerly concentrated a piece of filmmaking as you can imagine. The Finnish director – previously better known as an actor – manages his principle cast of three immaculately as they play out a powerful drama that...

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CD: Jaakko Eino Kalevi - Out of Touch

Out of Touch hinges on the yearning “Conceptual Mediterranean (Part 1)”, the seventh of its ten tracks. At this point, over two-thirds of the way into the album the yacht rock via early Eighties, late-night blue-eyed soul amalgam has bedded in to...

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CD: Teksti-TV 666 - Aidattu Tulevaisuus

Finland’s Teksti-TV 666 set their musical stall with 2016’s 1,2,3 album, which collected the tracks from their three EPs to date. Now, with their first album proper Aidattu Tulevaisuus, the nature of what they are comes into even sharper focus. In...

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CD: Above & Beyond - Common Ground

There's something oddly innocent, gauche even, about the US-based Anglo-Finnish trance trio Above & Beyond. They are almost implausibly huge – their weekly radio show, called "Group Therapy" after their 2011 second album, has some 25 million...

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Komsi, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican Hall review - Sibelius series ends in glory

Twelfth Night, Epiphany, call it what you will, is one reminder that there's continuity after the turn of the year. Another was Sakari Oramo's final Sibelius-plus concert with the BBC Symphony Orchestra - a predictable triumph given that the...

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Salonen conducts Sibelius, RFH/Oramo conducts Salonen, Barbican review - Finnish psychedelia

After Sakari Oramo's dazzling Sibelius rattlebag with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on the centenary day of Finnish independence, things weren't looking so good for Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia at half time last Thursday (★★★). Then along...

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Blue Planet II, BBC One review - just how fragile?

The eel is dying. Its body flits through a series of complicated knots which become increasingly grotesque torques. Immersed in a pool of brine — concentrated salt water five times denser than seawater — it is succumbing to toxic shock. As biomatter...

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Johnston, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - sheer adrenalin in early Sibelius

As the Parliament of the Autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empire declared independence on 6 December 1917, Sibelius had his head down working on the third version of his Fifth Symphony, the one so hugely popular today. He tried...

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Batiashvili, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican review - electricity in Sibelius and Hillborg

Even given the peerless standards already set by Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in their Sibelius cycle, this instalment was always going to be the toughest, featuring the most elusive of the symphonies, the Sixth, and the sparest, the...

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CD: Kaukolampi - 1

“The Prodigal Son of Magnesia” is an attention-grabbing title. So are “Three Legged Giant Centipede” and “Public Execution of the Sleeping Lotus Eater”. Each suggests that the album from which they are drawn could be a prog rock epic inspired by...

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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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