Yearly archive 2007

Finland invests in cultural exporting

Exports of Finnish music have been growing since 1999 at a rate of about 40 per cent a year. Finland's goal-oriented cultural export policy is, however, still in its infancy. Not until the beginning of this millennium did the government show an interest in cultural exporting, and in March this year it published a Proposal...

Juha Uusitalo’s rapid rise to the top – From piccolo to bass baritone

Bass baritone Juha Uusitalo's ascent from flautist with the Finnish National Opera first onto the stage there and then that of the world's largest opera venue compares to the heroic tales of a number of Finnish conductors. Sometimes, it seems, there is no great difference between a player in the pit and an international star....

Notes from the borderland – An interview with Jukka Tiensuu

Jukka Tiensuu has, like the music he composes, always defied classification in a single category. The most fitting words to describe him might be "a universal musician" or "the best-kept secret in Finnish music". Hence Tiensuu, if anyone, is the person par excellence to open the discussion about Finnish avant-garde today.

Experimental music in Finland ENJOYING A RENAISSANCE?

Finnish experimental music has its roots in the early 1960s and the composers and musicians then in their youth. It has since acquired numerous manifestations, from aleatory, free improvisation and sonic art to avant-punk and psychedelic forest-folk.

Arenas for experimental music in Finland

There are more events for experimental music in Finland than ever before. The majority of clubs are in Helsinki, but there is an active scene in other major cities too. Despite facing financial hardship, the organizers are contagiously enthusiastic.

Olli Kortekangas composes a celebratory opera

"Opera comes into its own when it presents the big emotions of ordinary people," says composer Olli Kortekangas. "In opera you can say a lot about a certain time and the events that took place during it." His opera Daddy's Girl, which is to be premiered at Savonlinna in July, traces the history of Finnish...

The singing revolution

One of the biggest influences on the Finnish music of 1969-76 was the strong political song movement. In a few years the socio-critical cabaret song born in the back-street theatres became transformed into the music of the extreme Left. The political movement petered out as the seventies drew to a close, but its songs can...

Sibelius à volonté

"With the fiftieth anniversary of Sibelius' death falling this year, it is only natural that record companies should want to mark the occasion. BIS, though, has gone rather further than you might have expected."

Singing his way around the world

"The work that seems to be doing the international diplomacy is Mäntyjärvi's Four Shakespeare Songs of 1984, one of his earliest surviving works (he withdrew several earlier scores), and as soon as one encounters its opening number, 'Come Away, Death', one understands why: it has that rare capacity in a piece of music of making...

So nearly so wonderful

"The hallmarks of Vänskä's conducting, we've long since learned, are a meticulous attention to detail - if it's in the score, you'll hear it in the performance - and an often startling rhythmic energy."

Tampere triumphant

"If you are sympathetic to large-scale Shostakovich (in works like the Eighth and Eleventh Symphonies), you will probably enjoy this CD as much as I did, although in the Third Symphony, as in the Second, I wonder whether he doesn't overwork his material just that bit too much."

Detail, delicacy and drive

"His handling of Rachmaninov's barnstorming First Sonata and the contrasting delicacies of Tchaikovsky's suite The Seasons (a movement a month) brings them up as fresh as daisies: the Rachmaninov has a fiery urgency and the Tchaikovsky a buoyant poise which are exhilarating."