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 the ocean’s power, Mäkelä got the pacing just right. Here was something truly special: a conductor who revelled in freshly imagining each sound.”

The Times, Rebecca Franks, 25 November 2021

“His approach in this repertory blends excitement with refinement and a painstaking attention to detail in ways that can be startling. The violent central section of Les Offrandes Oubliées, Messiaen’s early (1930) meditation on the crucifixion, was all the more unsettling for being done with such fierce, terrifying precision, its force offsetting the contemplative introversion of the outer sections, their dynamic gradations and tugging harmonies all wonderfully controlled.”

“The same qualities were very much apparent in the Debussy. Every shift in colour and detail in La Mer registered with perfect clarity while being integrated into the organic progression of the whole: Jeux de Vagues glittered restlessly; the final dialogue between wind and sea was tense, shot through with a sense of impending menace. Prélude à L’Après-midi d’un Faune, meanwhile, was sensuous rather than sensual, beautifully understated, the textures all ravishingly teased out.”

The Guardian, Tim Ashley, 25 November 2021

Olivier Messiaen: Les offrandes oubliées
Camille Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No. 1
Claude Debussy: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Claude Debussy: La mer
Soloist: Truls Mørk