"I was particularly impressed with the way they manage to blend different styles into an amalgam that is distinctly their own. The music is obviously rooted in Nordic and Celtic traditions, but Frigg has also been strongly influenced by American Newgrass."
"On the whole Musica nova Helsinki was remarkably successful. The festival now boasts many features that have been germinating for quite some time: club nights, a true cosmopolitan attitude and the successful integration of young Finnish composers into an international programme," writes Merja Hottinen in her review of the festival.
Einar Englund’s Violin Concerto of 1981 is one of the major violin concertos of the past century – and not just from Finland.
For all the passion at the climax of the Balada and the lusty drama of the last of the Four Songs, the music here sings Rautavaara to rest in the rich autumnal tones that are unmistakably his.
The aesthetic pluralism represented here is remarkable; Bergman pushes the envelope of musical expression. Matti Hyökki, with a group of professional singers, masters even the trickiest passages with aplomb.
On Alba’s new recording, Henri Sigfridsson makes the most of Palmgren’s brilliant solo parts in The River (Piano Concerto no. 2) and Metamorphoses (no. 3) without reducing them to shallow virtuoso vehicles.
Oh yes! One of the best releases this year is the gilt-edged calling card of accordionist-composer Veli Kujala that simultaneously slakes a thirst for something new and strikes a nostalgic chord.
Ante Lucem, a four-piece suite for jazz quintet and symphony orchestra, is not only one of Iro Haarla’s brightest artistic statements so far, but also a waypost in Finnish jazz.
A jack of many trades, Sid Hille has reimagined himself as a pianist many times before, but this disc may prove to be a pinnacle in his career.
There are perhaps more excellent trumpeters today than ever in Finland. Kalevi Louhivuori certainly belongs to this bunch.
Jukka Eskola’s 10-inch EP is not only the debut for the trumpeter’s trio (Mikko Helevä, organ; Teppo Mäkynen, drums), but also the dawn of a new label.