sat 25/05/2024

Finland

Album: Tarja - Dark Christmas

In Finland Tarja Turunen is an institution. There, she’s regarded as a kind of heavy rock-flavoured fusion of Sarah Brightman and Maria Carey. She first came to prominence as the multi-octave singer for symphonic metal kingpins Nightwish but, since...

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Fallen Leaves review - deliciously dry Finnish romcom

Fallen Leaves is Aki Kaurismäki’s 20th film, the one the Finnish director made after he said he’d retired from cinema in 2017 and frankly, if you didn’t like his earlier films, you shouldn’t bother with this one. But if you’re a fan (and I am...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Osmo Lindeman - Electronic Works

For Finnish composer Osmo Lindeman, the decision to pursue electronic music was made in 1968 during a visit to Poland. He had recently started using graphical notation for the scores of his compositions and was having problems getting conductors and...

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Enemy of the People, Channel 4 review - murder and corruption in the age of digital media

Presented to you by Channel 4’s industrious Walter, Enemy of the People is a punchy Finnish drama which makes some smart and timely observations about life in the age of digital money and poisonous social media.It’s the story of an ambitious and...

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Innocence, Royal Opera review - timely, layered drama with almost incidental music

To create a sensitive and original music-drama around the subject of a school killing is a colossal achievement. Director Simon Stone, set designer Chloe Lamford and novelist Sofi Oksanen’s cutting libretto make Innocence seem like a masterpiece. I...

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Batiashvili, Philharmonia, Shani, RFH review - Nordic mystery, Alpine tragedy

Sibelius and Mahler so often figure as the irreconcilable chalk and cheese of turn-of-the-century orchestral writing that it can be a salutary experience to hear them together on one bill.For sure, the Finn – whose Violin Concerto Lisa Batiashvili...

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Total Immersion: Sibelius the Storyteller, Barbican review - a feast of sagas and psychic masterpieces

If there’s a dud or a dullard among Sibelius’s 116 official opus numbers, I haven’t heard it. Yet catching even many of the outright masterpieces live in concert isn’t easy; the brevity that can show us a world in under 10 minutes makes some...

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Girl Picture review - Finnish coming-of-age drama offers nothing new

What is it with pushy Finnish mums and their acrobatic teenage daughters? Just weeks after the release of the Gothic fantasy Hatching, which focused on a gymnast having a Cronenbergian breakdown under pressure from her influencer mother, comes...

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Master Cheng review - slight but soothing Finnish-Chinese romance

There’s a long tradition of foodie romances proving art-house cinema hits – think of Babette’s Feast, Tampopo, and Chocolat. Sadly, it’s unlikely that Master Cheng, a gentle and very slow Finnish-Chinese coproduction about a chef from Shanghai...

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Philharmonia, Rouvali, RFH review - the really big orchestra is back for cosmic Strauss

Two suns, two moons, two Philharmonia leaders sharing a front desk, two aspirational giants among Richard Strauss's symphonic poems bringing the number of players, in the second half, to 134. Who’d have thought we’d be witnessing such phenomena when...

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Tove review - tasteful portrait of the Moomins creator

Even for this reviewer, who was brought up on Tove Jansson’s quirky children’s books (and is the owner of some 50 different Moomin coffee cups), it’s a stretch to recommend dropping everything to go and see Tove in the cinema. There’s nothing wrong...

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Albums of the Year 2020: Joensuu 1685 - ÖB

This breathtakingly lovely album opens with the aptly titled “Hey My Friend (We’re Here Again)”. Before the October 2020 release of ÖB and its related singles, the last record Finland’s Joensuu 1685 issued was a 12-inch on a Norwegian label which...

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