Steven Stucky wrote his orchestra piece Radical Light in 2007 for his friend Esa-Pekka Salonen and his Los Angeles Philharmonics. The piece’s seamless structure is inspired by Jean Sibelius, whose symphonies were performed at the same concert as the original performance. Esa-Pekka Salonen also takes musical inspiration from Sibelius. In his virtuoso cello concerto Mania from 2000, Salonen strives for development without sharp turns – but with spirit. He’s said that he writes music that challenges his fellow musicians and often drives them “towards the edge of their physical and mental ability”. Jean Sibelius himself composed Four Legends from the Kalevala, symphonic poems inspired by the Finnish national epic, during the final years of the 19th century. The titles of the movements, as well as atmosphere and colour, are borrowed from the verses about hero Lemminkäinen. Eroticism, magic, and sudden death are some of the themes that, alongside Sibelius’ dramatic orchestration and harmonies, create an often performed work with its roots in Wagner’s grandiose opera constructions and Liszt’s tone poetry.
The concert is carried out in cooperation with:
Jane och Aatos Erkkos Stiftelse, Juilliard school of Music, The Sibelius Academy Foundation, Sibelius Academy Uniarts Helsinki, Suomi Finland 100, Wärtsilä.