Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra play Carl Nielsen's Fourth Symphony

This article is from 2010.

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra play Carl Nielsen's Fourth Symphony

Helsinki-based orchestra bring two nights of romance and drama

In a festival blockbuster of an orchestral programme at the Usher Hall, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra’s pair of concerts stands out as a triple celebration of one of Scandinavia’s greatest composers, Wagner and the human voice. In putting on Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s highly dramatic Symphony No 4 ‘The Inextinguishable’ one night and his unusually structured Symphony No 5 the next, the Finns’ under chief conductor Sakari Oramo will, says EIF director Jonathan Mills, be ‘fantastic’. The fifth is remarkable for its solo side drum, which is meant to sound as if disrupting the music and continues as a rare chance for improvisation in a classical score.

The FRSO made its EIF debut in the 1998/99 season, just five years after Oramo, originally a violinist and leader of the orchestra, had stepped up to the podium at short notice to replace a sick conductor. Choosing between the orchestra with German mezzo Petra Lang in Wagner’s intensely romantic Wesendonck Lieder (Sun 15 Aug) or the powerfully expressive Finnish bass baritone Juha Uusitalo giving a glimpse of his Wotan, (Mon 16 Aug) will be a hard call.

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra 01, 15 Aug, and FRSO 02, 16 Aug, both Usher Hall, 473 2000, 8pm-9.50pm, £10–£40.

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Carl Nielsen’s dramatic Fourth Symphony, also known as The Inextinguishable, explores the elemental life force within each of us. Sakari Oramo and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra bring Nielsen’s poetic and lyrical works thrillingly to life.

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