Reviews  |  

Oslo Philharmonic – BBC Proms

“Finnish music from mythic forests set us off — Sibelius’s Tapiola. It began with the Oslo strings growling portentously, a deeply satisfying sound from the bass up, aided by Makela’s imaginative placement of the violas on his right, facing the first violins. There were breathtaking pianissimi chords and, towards the end, a violent, startling crescendo. These expressive touches, however, were folded into a haunting whole. After Tapiola, Sibelius disappeared into the forests he depicted in it, barely writing a note. Makela seemed to evoke that ghostly sense of departure in every bar.”

The Times, Neil Fisher, 15 August 2022 ★★★★★

“The centrepiece of Klaus Mäkelä’s extraordinary Prom with the Oslo Philharmonic was a performance of Liszt’s First Piano Concerto with Yuja Wang as soloist: a breathtaking account of the work, virtuosic on every level, both pianistic and orchestral … Finding an underlying unity in disparity, Mäkelä made perfect sense of the score’s stylistic veering between almost Wagnerian weight and an airy brilliance that derives from the French music of the time. It was all something of a revelation …”

The Guardian, Tim Ashley, 14 August 2022 ★★★★★

“This performance felt like Mäkelä was using his chamber music experience to highlight individual voices, to encourage his players to listen to each other. Some of the woodwind playing was just exquisite. In The Hero’s Adversaries the interchanges between the flutes, clarinets and oboes was gloriously conversational – never a case of the soloists simply playing the notes, rather playing off each other, following each other’s entries and exits.”    

Seen and Heard International, Marc Bridle, 15 August 2022

Jean Sibelius: Tapiola
Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto No.1
Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben

Soloist: Yuja Wang