Reflection by Pekka Kuusisto

Pekka Kuusisto, violon

Pekka Kuusisto, violin

Photo: Sonja Werner

“Hi everyone! Thanks so much for coming to the concert. I want to tell you how happy I am to be playing Magnus’ piece tonight — it is, in my humble opinion, one of the most important recent violin concertos. And hey, who doesn’t love recent violin concertos?

Comparing this concerto with the one by Sibelius is kind of lazy but I will now do it anyway. The role of the soloist in both pieces seems to contain three different personas: I need to become, at the right moments, romantic hero, a rune singer of primitive tunes and poetry, and a folk fiddler of exceptional rhythmic precision. Perhaps the most important role, at least for me, is the rune singer. In my opinion, the influences Sibelius received from the Karelian rune singing tradition played an important part in the shaping of his musical language. He showed us Finns that this simple music has an international resonance and that our traditional melodies can be developed into symphonic structures. I feel Magnus’ concerto continues the exploration of our primitive treasures and can therefore be called one of the most  advanced manifestations of Finnish traditional music. You may dance in the last movement if you want to.”
-Pekka Kuusisto

This is the first time the NAC Orchestra has performed Magnus Lindberg’s Violin Concerto, and is in fact the Canadian premiere. Magnus Lindberg, born the year after Sibelius died (1958), is now one of the leading lights on the contemporary scene in this Nordic country.

Finnish Landscapes February 21-22