Obviously the theme for this concert was pomposity – all the pieces heard today are very much pompous and heroic-like in character. But they were pompous in a positive way! Overall I really liked the interpretations!
The Sibelius piece at the beginning (Pohjola’s Daughter op. 49) is a really nice piece, characterized by e.g. rich material for the string section, bombastic trombones and French horns. The piece is widely considered as one of the most colorful works of Sibelius (source Wikipedia) I really like how Mr. Segerstam was able to make the orchestra dwell into the music and make it deliver the whole diverse color palette the piece has to offer!
Then there was the beautiful Piano Concerto in B minor by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky… well, what can I say? You all probably know this marvelous piece of music, at least the famous theme that starts the whole piece…
Valeria Resjan was just marvelous! She gave us a VERY passionate performance. I really liked how she colored the music! She gave meaning for every note (like pianists from the Russian school always do – just listen to great Russian maestros like Richter and Gilels) and she made the piano actually sing (another trademark of the Russian school). I also like how she collaborated with the orchestra – all the feelings, moods and colors, all the nuances were mutual – and I bet no one was left wanting after this piece!
After the intermission there was Borodin’s second symphony (“Heroic”) … pompous, Wagner-like colors, massive Russian sound with Russian melancholy (he was a member of The Five), beautiful singing melodies, heroic-like brass themes in the finale… well, what can you expect? Excellency, of course!
Aside from today’s concert, overall I really like that Mr. Segerstam is now the conducting the Turku Philharmonic. He has gotten the orchestra to a whole new level in music-making and as a result we can hear good music by a good orchestra and a good conductor!
Below is a scan of the concert program…