Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts Sibelius and Salonen

Verbier Festival 2007

From one universe to another, from… Salonen to Sibelius, Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen burns with the same passion.

A brilliant conductor, Esa Pekka-Salonen, the musical director if the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra until the summer of 2009, directs the Philharmonia Orchestra of London. Although he studied at the Sibelius Academy, it took him many years before conducting works by the great Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. "In my mind," he claimed, "the ideal Sibelius concert should not resemble an interpretation, nor even a point of view. I would like it to be like ice breaking, in the spring, in a northern river: intense, beautiful, frightening and unstoppable. I am not convinced that anyone is able to achieve this, but one can try."

In the summer of 2007 at Verbier, at the head of the Verbier Festival UBS Orchestra, Salonen took up the challenge with the Fifth Symphony by Sibelius, and his interpretation does indeed evoke ice breaking in the spring: intense, beautiful, terrifying and unstoppable, it irresistibly sweeps us along in its victorious flow.

Before this memorable Fifth by Sibelius, Salonen, who is also a remarkable composer, conducted one of his works, L. A. Variations. Premiered in 1996 and commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, this fifteen-minute piece was written by Salonen to showcase the powerful virtuosity of this orchestra. The challenge for the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra was all the more difficult, however, the formation rose to the occasion.

Linked event :

Movie director : François-René Martin
Collection : Contemporary Music
Musical periods : Music from the 20th century, Contemporary music
Music genre : Orchestral music

Duration : 56 min
Location : Verbier Festival (Verbier, Switzerland)
Recording date : 2007
Production date : 2008
Production : © Idéale Audience

Comments on Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts Sibelius and Salonen :