Göteborgs Konserthus New symphony and fast-paced clarinet

Colourful surprises with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali and clarinettist Kari Kriikku.

Concert length: 2 h incl. intermission Scene: Stora salen
270-530 SEK Student 185-265 SEK

Fast-paced, masterful and full of surprising twists and turns – this is what awaits the audience when the concert begins with Kimmo Hakola’s Clarinet Concerto, with acclaimed clarinettist Kari Kriikku as the soloist.

After the intermission it is time for the premiere of a new work by composer Tobias Broström, known for his rhythmically powerful music, colourful orchestration and distinct sense of harmony. Here we get to see his first symphony performed for the first time, a premiere commissioned by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

Broström is one of the most widely performed Swedish composers of his generation. His association-rich and almost cinematically narrative music is performed by orchestras all over the world, not just in Scandinavia but also by orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and many others.

This concert is led by Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Chief Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony, so come prepared for a scintillating orchestral experience!

Listen

Get to know Kimmo Hakola’s clarinet concerto and clarinetist Kari Kriikku:

This is how music by Tobias Broström sounds:

Introduction to the concert

Take a seat in the Great Hall one hour before the concert begins and learn more about the music you will soon experience! You will get the stories behind the music, knowledge of the composers and own reflections about the classical pieces. The introduction last for about 30 minutes, it is free and free seating in the hall.

Warm welcome!

Programme

Kimmo Hakola (b. 1958) Clarinet Concerto Kimmo Hakola is one of Finland’s leading composers, and his Clarinet Concerto (2001) is among his best known works. It is dedicated to his friend, the phenomenal Finnish clarinettist Kari Kriikku. The fascinating and intense piece is filled with colourful surprises, humour, and good-natured folly; for example, the final movement is a wild klezmer. As a student, Hakola took great interest in klezmer and other ethnic music. The first movement, Introduzione, presents a tough sense of modernism that is typical for Hakola. The clarinet jumps fearlessly into the orchestra’s quick, rhythmic pulses in an acrobatic demonstration of ultimate virtuosity, creating cool, jazzy, and cheeky music together. Hidden Song, the second movement, begins quietly, with no remaining trace of the previous action and liveliness. Hakola has described spending hours searching for emotionally moving hooks. With its cantabile part, the clarinet is fully focused on conveying these melodies, while the orchestra provides subtle accompaniment. This is followed by a scherzo, Allegro Farara, which opens playfully and takes unexpected turns. A touch of the East in the melody lends a hint of exotic spice to the solo part. Towards the end, the orchestra takes up more and more space with an infectiously jazzy section that gradually becomes chaotic, syncopated, and aggressive. Finally, the movement has an attacca transition to the tension-breaking finale. Khasense (Yiddish for wedding) begins with a shout of joy by the orchestra, which immediately presents a rapid, captivating rhythm that is replicated by the clarinet. A calmer section that gathers everyone together is followed by the intense and nearly unstoppable klezmer music. Whirling and swirling, the music dances frenetically and the movement gains even more dramatic intensity before the abrupt and inevitable conclusion. This well-composed and masterfully conveyed concerto finishes magnificently, and Kari Kriikku’s personal and charming expression leaves no one unmoved. Andreas Konvicka

Intermission 25 min

Tobias Broström (b. 1978) Symphony No. 1 – Albedo I Anima II Animus III Inquieto Tobias Broström’s Symphony No. 1 is the second part of a trilogy, the first of which is Nigredo: Dark Night of the Soul for two trumpets and orchestra. The third part is in progress. The symphony’s subtitle (Albedo) and both the title and subtitle of the first part of the trilogy (Nigredo: Dark Night of the Soul) pertain to different phases of alchemy, but are also concepts in Jungian psychology. C.G. Jung used concepts and symbolism from alchemy when developing his thoughts on the process of individuation and the natural order of development. Nigredo represents darkness, rot and degradation, as well as the polarity between masculine and feminine. “Dark night of the soul” is an expression that refers to periods in life characterised by challenges, but according to Jung, it is also a process of individuation. The first two parts of Broström’s trilogy reflect his moods. After the first dark part, the new symphony emerged with a sense of lightness. Albedo represents white, purification, and casting light and clarity onto matter, as well as, according to Broström: “unconscious images of the soul, with concepts such as anima/animus, which, according to Jung, can be described as men’s inner femininity and women’s inner masculinity”. The symphony comprises three movements, the first of which is played by the entire brass section. An initial theme is introduced and recurs several times in varied forms, especially in the second movement, but also in the concluding third movement. Yet another theme is presented: a small “musical cell” that Broström refers to as the question motif, and which is always played by the piano or celesta, harp, percussion and woodwinds. A melodically falling theme is also prominent in the first movement and recurs in the playful and rhythmically charged second movement. After a robust culmination, the movement is rounded out and concludes, like the first movement, with the question motif. The third movement is designated as inquieto, which can be translated as: restlessly, anxiously, upset. The pace is rapid and advances strongly, and the rhythmic energy is reinforced when the tempo is elevated by frenetically pounding drums. A peak leads into sparsity while the tempo falls, but only briefly. A signal from a muted trumpet along with harp and percussion bring renewed energy. Another culmination with broad orchestral sounds heralds the intensified conclusion that unites multiple themes and motifs. After a final gathering of strength, the symphony falls silent in the distance. Göran Persson

Participants

The Gothenburg Symphony, called "one of the world's most formidable orchestras" by the Guardian, has toured the USA, Europe, Japan and the Far East and performed at major music centres and festivals throughout the world. Chief conductor is Santtu-Matias Rouvali who started his tenure in 2017. Barbara Hannigan and Christoph Eschenbach are principal guest conductors since 2019. Already at the orchestra's very first years, the great Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar was appointed principal conductor, contributing strongly to the Nordic profile of the orchestra by inviting his colleagues Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius to conduct their own works. Subsequent holders of the post include Sergiu Comissiona, Sixten Ehrling and Charles Dutoit. During Neeme Järvi's tenure (1982-2004), the orchestra became a major international force. In 1997 it was appointed the National Orchestra of Sweden. During his celebrated tenure as music director (2007-2012), Gustavo Dudamel took the Orchestra to major music centres and festivals in Europe, making acclaimed appearances at BBC Proms and Vienna Musikverein. The list of prominent guest conductors has included Wilhelm Furtwängler, Pierre Monteux, Herbert von Karajan, Myung-Whun Chung, Herbert Blomstedt and Sir Simon Rattle. The orchestra also runs extensive concert projects for children, and regularly releases digital live concerts free on gsoplay.se. The orchestra has been involved in many prestigious recording projects, the latest one the complete Sibelius Symphonies with Santtu-Matias Rouvali for Alpha Classics. Earlier, the orchestra has issued over 100 recordings on BIS, Deutsche Grammophon, Chandos, Farao Classics and several other labels. The Gothenburg Symphony is owned by the Region Västra Götaland.

Hailed by The Guardian as "the latest sit-up-and-listen talent to emerge from the great Finnish conducting tradition," the 2018/19 season will see Santtu-Matias Rouvali continuing his positions as Chief Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, alongside his longstanding Chief Conductor-ship with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra close to his home in Finland. Rouvali has regular relationships with several orchestras across Europe, including the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bamberger Symphoniker and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. As well as making his debut with the Münchner Philharmoniker this season, he also returns to North America for concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Following a very successful Nordic tour with Hélène Grimaud last season, the Gothenburg Symphony is back on the road in February 2019 for a tour hitting major centres in Germany and Austria with pianist Alice Sara Ott, and percussionist Martin Grubinger who premieres a new percussion concert by Daníel Bjarnason. Rouvali looks forward to other ambitious touring projects with his orchestras in the future, including appearances in North America and Japan. In addition to the extensive tour, Rouvali's season in Gothenburg opens with Strauss' Alpine Symphony accompanied by Víkingur Ólafsson Mozart Piano Concerto No.24, and he looks forward to collaborations with Janine Jansen, Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Baiba Skride throughout the rest of the season. As another cornerstone to his tenure in Gothenburg, he is adding his mark to the Orchestra's impressive recording legacy. In partnership with Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and violinist Baiba Skride, a recording featuring concertos from Bernstein, Korngold and Rozsa is released in autumn 2018.This continues his great collaboration with Baiba Skride following their hugely successful recording of Nielsen and Sibelius' violin concertos with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in summer 2015. Rouvali has been Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra since 2013. Highlights of the tenure so far include a Sibelius symphony cycle in autumn 2015, and the Orchestra's first tour to Japan in spring 2017 where they were accompanied by an exhibition of original Moomin drawings by Tove Jansson to mark the opening of the new museum at the Tampere Hall. He opens the 2018/19 season with a Beethoven programme with pianist Javier Perianes. Alongside an extremely busy symphonic conducting career, as Chief Conductor in Tampere he has conducted Verdi's La forza del destino and most recently world premiere of Olli Kortekangas's My Brother's Keeper (Veljeni vartija) with Tampere Opera in spring 2018.

Kari Kriikku clarinet

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