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On Thursday, December 8th 2011, at 7 p.m: Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto 110 years – Jubilee Tour.

Rachmaninoff composed this concerto, the most renowned among its kind in the Romantic era, during the years 1900-1901, and dedicated it to his own physician, Doctor Nikolai Dahl. It was first performed in Moscow on October 27th, 1901 conducted by Rachmaninoff’s cousin Alexandr Siloti, while Rachmaninoff himself appeared as the soloist. Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto can be found, amongst others, in Frank Sinatra’s performances and in the ballad “All by myself” by Eric Carmen, as well as in several Hollywood films: for example, in the film Hereafter (2010) directed by Clint Eastwood.

  • The State Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of Karelia
  • José María Moreno, conductor
  • Pauli Kari, piano

Programme
Michail Glinka: Prelude “Ruslan and Lyudmila”
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto no. 2
Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fastastique

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A Great Wave hit the Locomotive Hall The first ever symphony concert at Logomo was magnificently carried out by the Karelia State Philharmonic Symphony Orchesta from Petroskoy, conducted by José Maria Moreno. Even though the night froze outside, the fingers of the musicians were not frozen. Michail Glinka's prelude "Ruslan and Lyudmila" ran with virtuosity from beginning to end. The orchestra played with rhythmic precision. A fine interpretation! And of course, the Russians know their Rachmaninoff. The piano soloist in his Piano Concerto no. 2 was Pauli Kari from Turku. The piano texture in the concerto varies, but Pauli Kari's grasp of the dynamic held throughout the concert. The solo parts stood out organically from the sound weave of the orchestra. Rachmaninoff's composition is masterly, and none of the orchestral sections rise above one another. While observing the orchestra I suddenly noticed that no-one else in the orchestra was playing, and realised how the orchestral texture of the piano replaced the whole orchestra. Although the artificial acoustics of the hall did not seem to amplify the music in a very notable manner - it would have been interesting to compare it with a non-manipulated situation -Rachmaninoff's music rolled over the hall like a great wave from the very first string themes onwards. In Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique the string section did not reach the kind of harmony that it did in the earlier numbers, but even here the connection between the conductor and the orchestra was admirably fine-tuned. The composition, at the time of its creation, was very modern, and this genial piece of music was not easily accepted in its contemporary music circles. The energy of José Maria Moreno caught on with the orchestra, and even the minutest details of the symphony stood out in the interpretation. For instance, the harp solos and the melodious brass parts of Dies Irae in the finale deserve a special mention. The first encore played by the orchestra was Sibelius's Finlandia, which also rolled out with majestic energy. To the delight of the audience, Moreno also turned out to be an excellent tenor singing the first vocal part of the piece. The second encore was from Bizet's opera Carmen, the Toreador song, and Moreno invited the entire audience to join in. At this point, the enthusiastic audience almost couldn't keep up with Moreno's tempo in their clapping.

Turun Sanomat News/12/2011

Concert Magic The Rovaniemi Karelia Week of the Parish ended in a church concert of the Karelia State Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. The concert implemented by 60 musicians and pianist Pauli Kari turned out to be one of the highlights of this year. I heard a member of the public stating that they thought this evening was one of the all time best church concert experiences of their life. The song of Karelia really sounded proudly - music that elevated the audience into the spheres: Michail Glinka's prelude "Ruslan and Lyudmila", Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto no. 2 and Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique as collaboration between a Spanish conductor and a Finnish pianist. The concert in Rovaniemi was part of their tour of Lapland, and certainly made a lasting impression on the audience in Rovaniemi. This kind of live experience could only be acquired by attending the concert, with all senses open for it.

Pääsky News 6/2011

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