Magnificent reception for the Kymi Sinfonietta’s February release on the international BIS label.
A new album was released in February on the international BIS label by the Kymi Sinfonietta, conductor Olari Elts, violinist Elina Vähälä and cellist Jonathan Roozeman. It features two concertos by one of today’s greatest Finnish composers, Kalevi Aho: one for violin and the other for cello, both no. 2. The album has had a magnificent reception and excellent reviews in various media and is the fruit of the long-term partnership between the Kymi Sinfonietta and Kalevi Aho. It serves as an international calling card for the Kymi Sinfonietta and is proof of the orchestra’s very high standard. Made with such prestigious partners, it further enhances the image of this orchestra operating in two cities (Kotka and Kouvola) as a top performer of contemporary music, both at home in Finland and abroad.
Jukka Isopuro gave the album four stars in his review published in Helsingin Sanomat on 8.4.2023. Rondo Classic carried reviews in its March and April issue; so did the New Releases (“Uudet levyt”) programme on Yle Radio 1 and the Art Music Lounge online publication. It was chosen as the CD sent to all Rondo subscribers who have requested the CD tie-in with their normal subscription. This tie-in consists of six new critically-acclaimed discs, and the choice this time fell on the Kymi Sinfonietta’s new album.
The following is a list of reviews that mention the orchestra.
- Jukka Isopuro gave the album four stars in his review published in Helsingin Sanomat on 8.4.2023:
”The Kymi Sinfonietta conducted by Olari Elts is a fine partner for both soloists.”
- Rondo Classic carried reviews in its March and April issue and chose it as its Rondo CD:
“Equally seamless and phenomenal is the sound of the Kymi Sinfonietta conducted by Olari Elts captured by Bis’s multi-channel recording, responsive, lush and pinpointing the individual solos.”
- Kare Eskola reviewed the disc in his New Releases programme on Yle Radio 1 on 4.2.2023:
“The Kymi Sinfonietta conducted by Olari Elts does not perhaps have as much experience of Aho as, say, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, but the crew beautifully capture Aho’s refined colours and intensive build-ups.”
- It also got an excellent review in the Art Music Lounge:
”Still, this is an excellent release. No Aho admirer would want to be without it.”
The Kymi Sinfonietta premiered Aho’s second Violin Concerto during its autumn 2016 season, with the magnificent Elina Vähälä as the soloist. It played it again during its spring 2019 season under its Artistic Adviser Olari Elts, and the soloist was once again Vähälä, in a supreme performance. The Kymi Sinfonietta recorded it for BIS in the aftermath of these concerts at the Kuusankoski Hall in Kouvola in spring 2019.
BIS decided to pair the Violin Concerto with Aho’s Cello Concerto No. 2 premiered at the Naantali Music Festival in 2014. The Cello Concerto was recorded at the Kuusankoski Hall with Olari Elts conducting in December 2021, when the soloist was the shining rising star Jonathan Roozeman. The fact that Kalevi Aho is one of the Finnish composers most in demand abroad makes the disc particularly significant. Aho has been very much in the international limelight in recent years particularly.
The album is available at www.bis.se, Naxosdirect online, well-stocked record shops, the Kymi Sinfonietta office and Kymi Sinfonietta concerts. The distributor in Finland is Oy Fg-Naxos AB. Further information: www.kymisinfonietta.fi.