thu 24/08/2017

Finland

CD: Man Duo - Orbit

True to their name, Finland’s Man Duo are male and there are two of them. The better-known half is former Helsinki tram driver Jaakko Eino Kalevi. Born Jaakko Savolainen – the Kalevi nods to his home country’s epic tale, The Kalevala – his long solo...

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Tom of Finland review - engaging biopic of gay pioneer

Finnish director Dome Karukoski has made a sympathetic and quietly stylish biopic of Touko Laaksonen, the artist who did as much as anyone to define 20th century male gay visual culture. There’s a degree of irony in the fact that we know him by...

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Kuusisto, London Chamber Orchestra, Ashkenazy, Cadogan Hall

Tears were likely to flow freely on this most beautiful and terrible of June evenings, especially given a programme – dedicated by Vladimir Ashkenazy to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire – already prone to the elegiac. It could hardly...

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The Other Side of Hope review - Aki Kaurismäki at his tragicomic best

It takes real skill to make a film about a desperate Syrian refugee and a dour middle-aged Finn reinventing himself and turn it into the warmest, most life-enhancing film I’ve seen this year. But Aki Kaurismäki has form, he’s been making movies...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Wigwam

Over 1972 to 1975, Finland staged a small-scale invasion of Britain. A friendly one, it was confined to music. First, the progressive rock band Tasavallan Presidentti came to London in May 1972 and played Ronnie Scott’s. The Sunday Times’ Derek...

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BBC Singers, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

It's official: if you want to be guaranteed an infallible musical adrenalin boost in London, you can always be sure to find it with Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo and his BBC Symphony Orchestra. And it's not just a question of splashy excitement:...

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Apocalyptica, RFH

Apocalyptica are a band that became famous for playing Metallica on cellos. And tonight they’re playing only Metallica covers because it's 20 years since they released Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, their debut album. The quartet formed at Finland’...

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Hevisaurus, RFH

The idea of a heavy metal rock band for children might be somewhat lacking in appeal for some. Images of leather and chains, frightening make-up, Anthrax-style roaring into a microphone and satanic lyrics for dear little Jonti, all a bit...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Fauré, Poulenc, Franui, Sami Junnonen

Aubade – Music by Fauré and Poulenc Västerås Sinfonietta/Howard Shelley (piano and conductor) (dB Productions)January blues? Those afflicted should self-medicate with this collection instead of nipping down to the nearest off-licence. Nothing cheers...

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Albums of the Year: Mikko Joensuu - Amen 1

Five new albums released over the year have dominated 2016: Marissa Nadler’s Strangers (May), Mikko Joensuu’s Amen 1 (June), Jessica Sligter’s A Sense of Growth (July), Arc Iris’s Moon Saloon (August) and Wolf People’s Ruins (November). Next year,...

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Wallfisch, LPO, Vänskä, RFH

Osmo Vänskä isn't by any means the only Finn who conducts magnificent Sibelius. Sakari Oramo is the BBC Symphony Orchestra's property, but the London Philharmonic could have gone for a change and invited Vänskä's equally impressive and even more...

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Callow, Hough, LPO, Vänskä, RFH

2015, Sibelius anniversary year, yielded no London performances of the composer's last masterpiece, the Prospero's farewell of his incidental music to The Tempest. With Shakespeare400, 2016 has already made amends: even if the Bardic input came...

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