HPO - SONGS OF MEENA
1 h 42 min
Moscow, Berlin, and especially Paris. Years of studying in the world’s metropolises matured Väinö Raitio into a master of colour music. Raitio dresses our national bird in an impressionistically flickering costume.
India, Sudan, New York. Olli Kortekangas' new work is dedicated to the memory of the poet Meena Alexander and the soprano Tuuli Takala.
Joonas Kokkonen composed by a grand piano as he paced around it. A grand piano is also the heart of the home Alvar Aalto designed for Kokkonen. His Fourth Symphony was one of the first works completed at Villa Kokkonen.
Songs of Meena (world premiere)
Symphony No. 4
In Memoriam op. 59
HPO - SONGS OF MEENA
1 h 42 min
Moscow, Berlin, and especially Paris. Years of studying in the world’s metropolises matured Väinö Raitio into a master of colour music. Raitio dresses our national bird in an impressionistically flickering costume. India, Sudan, New York. Olli Kortekangas' new work is dedicated to the memory of the poet Meena Alexander and the soprano Tuuli Takala. Joonas Kokkonen composed by a grand piano as he paced around it. A grand piano is also the heart of the home Alvar Aalto designed for Kokkonen. His Fourth Symphony was one of the first works completed at Villa Kokkonen. VÄINÖ RAITIO The Swans OLLI KORTEKANGAS Songs of Meena (world premiere) JOONAS KOKKONEN Symphony No. 4 JEAN SIBELIUS In Memoriam op. 59 OSMO VÄNSKÄ conductor TUULI TAKALA soprano
HPO - HELSINKI MUSIC CENTRE CHOIR’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY
2 h 12 min
The Helsinki Music Centre Choir blows out ten birthday candles with works whose composers have been enchanted by poetry and painting. The majestic silence and mystical atmosphere of Piero della Francesca’s frescoes fascinated Bohuslav Martinů. On his summer holiday, Johannes Brahms was moved by a poem by Friedrich Hölderlin and immediately hurried to the sandy beach to sketch a piece. Alex Freeman’s new work is an extensive choral symphony that draws on the ecstatic optimism and energy of verses by four American poets. JOHANNES BRAHMS Schicksalslied BOHUSLAV MARTINŮ Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca ALEX FREEMAN Ghost Light (A Choral Symphony in Three Parts) (world premiere) NILS SCHWECKENDIEK conductor THE HELSINKI MUSIC CENTRE CHOIR
HPO - BALTIC
Allow us to introduce: the environmental robot Baltic! He has met children from Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Germany and Denmark and sought answers to their tricky environmental questions about how we can all help protect the Baltic Sea. The performance Baltic is a joint production with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. It is also part of the Sea of Music project, which is a collaboration among symphony orchestras in the countries around the Baltic Sea. Age recommendation 5+ KRISTIAN SALLINEN conductor EIJA AHVO vocalist and presenter JUKKA NYLUND director
HPO - KAIJA SAARIAHO 70
2 h 30 min
Two violin sounds – a sforzato and a pizzicato – provided the basic material for the tape used in Kaija Saariaho's first orchestral work. The French premiere of Verblendungen in 1984 marked the starting point for Saariaho’s international breakthrough. Notes on Light, in turn, has been described by cellist Anssi Karttunen, to whom the work is dedicated, as a rich journey into the heart of light. "I am a choral singer myself and wanted to use Finnish choral singing as the basis of my work," says composer Matthew Whittall of his work "Silence Speaks" commissioned for Helsinki Variations and inspired by a Christmas song by Jean Sibelius. MATTHEW WHITTALL Silence Speaks (world premiere) KAIJA SAARIAHO Notes on Light KAIJA SAARIAHO Verblendungen JEAN SIBELIUS Symphony No. 4 SUSANNA MÄLKKI conductor ANSSI KARTTUNEN cello The concert ends approx at 21.15.
HPO - MÄLKKI & JOSEFOWICZ
2 h 26 min
Last autumn, the Los Angeles Times lauded violinist Leila Josefowicz’s performance of John Adams’ Violin Concerto: "A daring, probing, thinking, dancing, spectacularly virtuosic soloist… she played each turn of phrase, each gesture, as though it were a new thought or feeling that suddenly astonished her." (Los Angeles Times, 9.11.2021) Good news for lovers of mysticism and mysteries! The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra will perform no less than three symphonies by Anton Bruckner this season. The series begins with one of his most popular, the 4th Symphony – a mysterious relation to ancient tales. JOHN ADAMS Violin Concerto ANTON BRUCKNER Symphony No. 4 "Romantic" SUSANNA MÄLKKI conductor LEILA JOSEFOWICZ violin The concert ends approx at 21.15.
HPO - TRISTAN AND ISOLDE
2 h 19 min
"Orchestra, do not disturb the audience!" Richard Wagner hid the orchestra in the pit in his Bayreuth Festival Theatre and even went a step further by putting the cover on. In our opening concert of the season, the Wagnerian tide washes over the Helsinki Music Centre, promising listeners rich musical treasures. Stuart Skelton and Lise Lindstrom are Tristan and Isolde in the passion of the night. RICHARD STRAUSS Metamorphosen RICHARD WAGNER Tristan and Isolde, Act II SUSANNA MÄLKKI conductor STUART SKELTON Tristan, tenor LISE LINDSTROM Isolde, soprano JENNY CARLSTEDT Brangäne, mezzo-soprano MARKUS NIEMINEN Kurwenal, baritone BRINDLEY SHERRATT King Marke, baritone ROLAND LIIV Melot, tenor
HPO - VIER LETZTE LIEDER
1 h 48 min
Camilla Nylund, one of our most successful opera singers, is also one of the brightest stars among international sopranos. The full-bodied glow of late romance fills the concert hall as Nylund, Mälkki and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra join forces with Richard Strauss. Death and Transfiguration, composed as a young man, and The Four Last Songs, composed fifty years later, and that look at death calmly, the ending life made complete by death. Sampo Haapamäki's scale has long had 24 notes. Quarter-tones can also be heard in the world premiere of his commissioned Helsinki Variations piece, which is inspired by a chord in a concerto composed by Aarre Merikanto in the 1920s. SAMPO HAAPAMÄKI Helsinki Variations (world premiere) RICHARD STRAUSS Vier letzte Lieder RICHARD STRAUSS Death and Transfiguration SUSANNA MÄLKKI conductor CAMILLA NYLUND soprano
HPO - GERSTEIN & STORGÅRDS
2 h 38 min
Two concertos for the price of one! Pianist Kirill Gerstein has compiled a symmetrical concert programme in which Webern’s short tonal aphorisms cleanse the musical taste buds in preparation for the flow of Brahms’s concertos. John Storgårds begins the concert by switching his baton for the violin for Webern’s Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Opus 7. ANTON WEBERN Four Pieces for violin and piano op. 7 JOHANNES BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1 ANTON WEBERN Five pieces for Orchestra op. 10 JOHANNES BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 2 JOHN STORGÅRDS conductor, violin KIRILL GERSTEIN piano
HPO - PLANET EARTH
1 h 55 min
In this evening’s concert hosted by Pekka Kuusisto, art music does not turn its gaze away but instead holds onto our hand firmly while compassionately exploring our home planet, its beauty and its wounds. Strangely beautiful birds of paradise flew into Andrea Tarrodi’s composition that was inspired by the TV series Planet Earth, while the melodic worlds of Hildur Guðnadóttir have made millions of television viewers feel the apocalyptic moods of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on their skin. For Igor Stravinsky, the Psalms of the Bible were poems of ecstasy and rapture, but he also found hatred and judgment, even curses, in their verses. “I wanted to counter the numerous composers who had mistreated these authoritative verses by using them as the wooden legs of their own poetic-sentimental ‘feelings’.” The works of composer Antti Auvinen are firmly connected to time. He believes that a contemporary composer can express in his music his views of the world around him. His new composition, commissioned for the Helsinki Variations series, receives its world premiere. PJOTR TŠAIKOVSKI Andante cantabile for string orchestra HILDUR GUÐNADÓTTIR Vishnaja Pamyat arr. Robert Ames (Finnish premiere) ARVO PÄRT Fratres for violin, string orchestra & percussion ANDREA TARRODI Paradisfåglar (Finnish premiere) ANTTI AUVINEN Stabat Tiger Mater (Premiere) IGOR STRAVINSKY Symphony of Psalms PEKKA KUUSISTO violin, conductor MUSIC CENTRE CHOIR ELERIIN MÜÜRIPEAL choir coach
HPO & BELOVED RACHMANINOFF
2 h 32 min
A favourite soloist playing a favourite concerto! Mackenzie Melemed, winner of the 2017 International Maj Lind Piano Competition, enchants audiences with his focused presence. The American pianist, who fell in love with Finland and settled here, has said that he buys a glass bird designed by Oiva Toikka every time he performs as a soloist with a Finnish orchestra. The solo section of Sergei Rachmaninoff's second piano concerto complements Melemed's collection with another glass bird. Rachmaninoff dedicated his most beloved work to his hypnologist, who had helped ease his writer’s block and complete the concerto. “As soon as conductor Mei-Ann Chen stepped on stage, her smile immediately spread throughout the orchestra. She is an energising catalyst on the conductor’s podium!” (Camilla Dahl, Mittmedia). Taiwanese American conductor Mei-Ann Chen makes her debut in front of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. BOHUSLAV MARTINŮ Toccata e due canzoni SERGEI RAHMANINOV Piano Concerto No. 2 ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 7 MEI-ANN CHEN conductor MACKENZIE MELEMED piano
HPO: KADONNUT SINFONIA
2 h 14 min
19.00 Concert What does the first symphony ever composed in the Russian Empire sound like? Ukrainian composer Maxim Berezovsky studied under the Italian Masters at both the St. Petersburg Court and the Bologna Academy of Music, from which he graduated with honours a few months after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Berezovsky's supposedly lost symphony was found in the Vatican archives in 2000. Film director Andrei Tarkovsky describes the life of Berezovsky in his film Nostalgia, the protagonist of which travels to Italy to carry out research about the 18th-century homesick Russian composer. More than a hundred years later in Russia, symphonies were composed by the likes of Pyotr Tchaikovsky, who posed great questions in his Fifth Symphony: To be or not to be? Which wins, fate or strong will? Does suffering lead to victory? The dramatic wrestling with these thoughts is sweetened by the third movement composed to the soft rhythm of a waltz. The violin, viola and orchestra converse gracefully in the Sinfonia Concertante, with Julian Rachlin and Sarah McElravy performing as soloists. The recording will be available latest the week following the concert. MAXIM BEREZOVSKY Symphony in C Major WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Sinfonia Concertante in E Flat Major PJOTR TŠAIKOVSKI Symphony No. 5 JULIAN RACHLIN conductor, violin SARAH MCELRAVY viola