Friday 20.9.2019 19.00 Season concert 2
from 25/19/11 € Espoo Cultural Centre
Platinum 2020-2021 Gold 2020-2021
Friday 20.9.2019 19.00 from 25/19/11 € Espoo Cultural Centre
Platinum 2020-2021 Gold 2020-2021

Conductor Taavi Oramo reveals his multi-faceted artist persona in his first residency concert. What is the result of bringing together Jonny Greenwood, guitarist of Radiohead, Ilkka von Boehm and his recent work Fortress of shadows and two of the most expressive composers of the early 20th century, Schönberg and Skriabin?



Open rehearsal


Come and see how the orchestra works to prepare the evenings concert. The open rehearsals begin at 10 am and end at 1 pm. You may also leave at the break. An introduction is given in the foyer of the Espoo Cultural Centre at 9.50 am. Admission free.

Pre-concert talks


Kimmo Korhonen will interview conductor Taavi Oramo.

Language: finnish

Espoo Cultural Centre, exhibition hall Ahjo, 1st floor.
Free admission.

Ilkka von Boehm

Fortress of Shadows

Ilkka von Boehm studied composition with Olli Kortekangas and Erkki Jokinen at the Sibelius Academy. His output consists mostly of works for orchestra and ensemble, but he has also written works for the stage and multi-discipline works.

Fortress of Shadows was named after Duinscaith Castle, a 15th-century ruined castle on the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides in Scotland. Legend has it that the place was home to a ferocious woman warrior known as ‘the Shadow’ (Scáthach). Von Boehm is careful to point out, however, that the piece is not programme music as such.

The piece begins with an archaic, severe brass fanfare evoking an expansive landscape, followed by a lively, fragile texture described by the composer as ‘ethereal fairy music’. The dramaturgy of the work depends on the dynamic between these two materials as moods and textures shift and merge. At times, the music escalates to an almost ritualistic pulsation, only to subside into a lucid and immobile soundscape at the end.

Shortened from Kimmo Korhonen's work presentation
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi

Alexandr Skriabin

Piano Concerto in F sharp minor op. 20

Skriabin completed his only Piano Concerto, in F sharp minor, in spring 1897, a short while before he began to dabble in mysticism, and he played the solo part at its premiere in Odessa in October that year. The concerto was received with mixed emotions, but it had its champions, and Skriabin went on to perform it to considerable success around Russia and Europe.

The Chopin influences that coloured Skriabin’s early output are firmly at the forefront in the opening movement of the concerto: by turns dreamy and sentimental to the extreme, the movement is dominated by the richly ornamented melodic writing typical of Skriabin’s early works.
In the middle movement, the strings present a sensitive subject that is used as the theme for a set of four variations. In the first and fourth of these, the clarinet engages in a poetic dialogue with the elegant piano part. Although this is the slow movement, it contains a scherzo-like variation providing a livelier touch. The sombre third variation is the most serious of the four. The coda is like a recapitulation, even if it resembles the first variation more than the original theme.

The finale has a dancing main subject balanced with sentimental melodic elements that eventually come to dominate the music.

Shortened from Kimmo Korhonen's work presentation
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi

Arnold Schönberg

Chamber Symphony no. 1 in E major op. 9

Arnold Schönberg is known as the great revolutionary in 20th-century music and the inventor of the twelve-tone system, but he began his composer career as a card-carrying Romantic.

Schönberg’s early Romantic period ended with his Chamber Symphony no. 1 (1905–1906). In contrast to the gigantic orchestras used in late Romantic orchestral music, Schönberg here wrote for an ensemble of only 15 musicians.

In this work, Schönberg is at the threshold of atonality, in a situation where tonal anchors are just about to disappear under a complex polyphonic texture. The very opening, with an ascending horn motif consisting of fourths, demonstrated a new and more constructivist approach to music. The work is cast in a single movement, one the one hand as a single large sonata form and on the other as incorporating features of the conventional four-movement symphony format. The work is structured as follows: exposition (Introduction–Allegro), scherzo, development, slow movement, recapitulation (finale).

Shortened from Kimmo Korhonen's work presentation
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi

Jonny Greenwood


Jonny Greenwood is probably best known as the solo guitarist and keyboard player of the British alt-rock band Radiohead, founded in 1985. He has also written orchestral works, including film scores.

Water was written to a commission from the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 2014. It was inspired by a poem of the same title by Philip Larkin (1922–1985), particularly its concluding image of a glass of water where rays of light from various directions combine endlessly.

Those looking out for rock influences in this music may be disappointed. There are a few moments of strong rhythmic pulse, but the dominant sound is that of a lucid, prism-like glimmer, where musical figures are repeated often in a minimalist, slowly shifting and evolving tapestry, at times coalescing into almost Ligeti-like sound fields or falling into line with a dynamic rhythm. The strings provide a multi-layered shimmer, punctuated by several solo violin lines and coloured by the flutes and keyboards and the tanpuri drone. The work consists of five sections played without a break, presenting contrasting aspects and tracing a dynamic overall form but at the same time, on a more general level, reflecting the images prompted by the poem that inspired the work.

Shortened from Kimmo Korhonen's work presentation
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi


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