...the most arresting, revealing and thrilling performance of Symphony No. 2 I’ve ever heard.
Susanna Malkki and the Helsinki Philharmonic
In May, conductor Susanna Malkki brought her Helsinki Philharmonic to the Kennedy Center for a program of music from her homeland that was lucidly realized and vividly performed from start to Finnish (and I will absolutely not be apologizing for that pun). Flutist Claire Chase joined the visiting orchestra for a chillingly beautiful account of “L’Aile du songe,” a concerto by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, who died of glioblastoma in June. But the highlight of the evening, presented by Washington Performing Arts, was Malkki & Co.’s cellular-seeming understanding of the Sibelius works that bookended the program: “Lemminkainen’s Return” and — checks review — “the most arresting, revealing and thrilling performance of Symphony No. 2 I’ve ever heard.”