News/Reviews

Aug 16, 2016

“These vast spaces without gravity”

WDR Chief Conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste on the Sibelius anniversary and his Sibelius concert at the Cologne Philharmonie

 

Mr. Saraste, you have just rehearsed Sibelius’ Fourth Symphony with the WDR Symphony Orchestra. Are German orchestras able to do Sibelius?
 
It always depends on the tradition. And it is obvious: The Fourth is still rather “new” in Germany – as opposed to the First or the Second or even the Seventh which contains much Wagner. But the Fourth is really difficult – the musical language is so “plain” and at the same time so profound – this has nothing to do with Brahms or Mahler.

Have you been able to make this accessible to the orchestra?

It gets better and better. We have done much Sibelius together after all. But once again: The Fourth is something special, in fact there is no model. It is somewhat similar to Webern – one has to find these exact sounds.
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Jul 27, 2016

TAMMISAARI FESTIVAL 2016

The Finnish Chamber Orchestra remembers Jouni Kaipainen at Tammisaari this year
 
 
 
 
 
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May 27, 2016

WDR Sinfonieorchester summer touring

The orchestra returns to Salzburg, and the Rheingau and Grafenegg Festivals in the course of the summer 2016.
 
 
 
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May 9, 2016

MAHLER – COLOGNE PHILHARMONIE, GERMANY

29 & 30 April 2016
WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, Kölner Domchor, Female voices of the WDR Rundfunkchor, Wiebke Lehmkuhl

“Happy the man able to witness this superb evening with the WDR Symphony Orchestra. Under the baton of Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Mahler’s Third gained plenty of drive. The Finnish conductor’s view of the score was defined by structural foresight and multi-dimensional sculpting. Whilst he let the double-basses play in a burrowing way, in the upper registers a certain elegance prevailed; a sense of wide breath. Fierce eruptions were wildly carved out, but never uncontrolled. Under Saraste, Mahler appeared stringent and was performed with virtuosity, with great moments of intensity in the final movement.”

2 May 2016
Matthias Corvin, Kölnische Rundschau

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Apr 11, 2016

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS 2016

Jukka-Pekka celebrates with special concerts at Helsinki Musiikkitalo and Stockholms Konserthus
 
In the press:
Helsingin Sanomat
 
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Apr 10, 2016

SAARIAHO/GRIEG/SIBELIUS – DE DOELEN, ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

2 & 3 April 2016
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Boris Giltburg

“In the opening movement, the strings produced a rarified transparency that evoked images of icy winds blowing over snowy plains. Saraste conducted like a reserved gentleman: always in control with but a few wild gestures and exuding a collected calm, even during Sibelius’ fiercest moments. He expertly layered the composer’s icy tension. Visibly engrossed by the Rotterdam Philharmonic’s sound, Saraste sustained a fragile suspense in his ceaseless momentum as he continued with the second movement Tempo andante.”

“Saraste’s Sibelius swept you off your feet.”

6 April 2016
David Pinedo, Bachtrack.com

Apr 8, 2016

Me and my Sibelius

— How did you first get interested in Sibelius?

It was actually the Fourth Symphony that made the biggest impact on me, and I think contact with some interpretations, for example Paavo Berglund, reinforced my interest, and the way he was conducting made me convinced that there’s an incredible truth in the music, which I didn’t discover so early in the other symphonies – with No. 2, for example, it took a long time before I was completely ready for it.

— What was the first work by Sibelius that you ever conducted, and what was the occasion?

It must have been No. 2, when I was in the music camp of Lapua, and had a youth/student/festival orchestra at that music camp.
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Feb 29, 2016

DUTILLEUX/RAVEL – COLOGNE PHILHARMONIE, GERMANY

19 & 20 February 2016
WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, WDR Rundfunkchor, Laura Aikin

“A magnificent Ravel with Saraste”

“Ravel’s large-scale piece was a sensational experience, with Jukka-Pekka Saraste on the podium, drawing out the full musical drama from the WDR Symphony Orchestra and the WDR Rundfunkchor. Although this music was originally intended to support a ballet, when played with so much impetus it needs no additional imagery. It all develops in the mind”.

22 February 2016
Johannes Zink, Kölnische Rundschau

Jan 20, 2016

32nd International Music Festival of the Canary Islands

Jukka-Pekka peforms at the 32nd International Music Festival of the Canary Islands
 
 
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