Friday 20 April 2012

Sieidi: Kalevi Aho's new percussion concerto

Photo: Marco Borggreve

A new percussion concerto from one of Finland’s most prolific composers arrived at London’s Royal Festival Hall on Wednesday.  Kalevi Aho’s Sieidi was written for Colin Currie (pictured), who joined the London Philharmonic for its world premiere.   I went along for Classicalsource:
Sieidi, from the northern Finnish language Samí, is the word for an ancient cult or ritual place and Aho thinks Luosto was probably used for this purpose.  Ritual is the overriding force in the concerto, whether in the pounding opening or in the frenzied solos given to the percussionist as he moves around the stage.  Aho has the soloist move from hand-beaten drums to instruments of pitch (marimba; vibraphone) to tam-tam, then back again in sequence.  It's not all vigorous and primitive: on reaching the marimba, the soloist seems to tame the previously restless orchestra; later, crystalline bowed vibraphone marks the point of furthest retreat from the clatter.”

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