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Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

"Sauli Zinoviev's piano concerto should have been premiered almost two years ago, just after the pandemic struck and it would have been unsustainable to postpone the premiere once again. Although of course it would have been festive with an enthusiastically applauding audience after the euphoric finale … Ólafsson mastered to perfection all of Zinoviev's stylistic excursions, from {…}
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Helsinki Philharmonic

"Mäkelä and HKO maintained the tension (in Mahler Symphony No.1). The bridles remained in the hand. This was characteristic of the whole interpretation: the mastery of the large phrases, the lightning-fast changes in the characters within them, natural as if breathing ... the fourth movement was magical. The energy intensified, and there was nothing more to wish for."Helsingin {…}

London Philharmonic Orchestra

"It’s not often you hear these three symphonic sketches (of La Mer) performed with such clarity and so much atmosphere. Light seemed to filter through every note, the playing was deft and precise, from cello choirs to horn chorales, sprays of glittering harps to dancing violins. Whether it was the sun strengthening from dawn to midday, or the turn from the horror to the majesty of {…}

Orchestre de Paris

"Klaus Mäkelä had only just launched the Orchestre de Paris in The Hebrides when one senses the big night ahead. In this maritime piece by Mendelssohn, which is more complex to perform than it seems, it is obvious: the sound of the orchestra, supple, full and natural, shows the bond of absolute confidence that the conductor and his musicians have succeeded in establishing {…}
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Concertgebouworkest, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

"Dmitri Shostakovich begins his Sixth Symphony from 1939 with a painful song of cellos, violas and woodwinds. And already here, in the first bars, one can experience everything that will define this remarkable concert. It is the warm and silky sound of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the unconditional will to create together. And the energy and precision with which Klaus Mäkelä takes up {…}

Oslo Philharmonic

The expressive maturity of Mäkelä is evident from his incredibly clear and varied gestures, which can be both expansive or reserved … The Finnish conductor never takes things to extremes, and all the ''fragments'' of the lugubrious first movement (of Shostakovich Symphony No. 10) have a sense of continuity that is rare to hear: With a very comfortable tempo (well over 50 minutes), {…}
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