A concert evening in „Verkatehdas“

On Thursday 8th May 2008 the audience of Hämeenlinna (Finland), the birth place of Jean Sibelius, experienced an unforgettable evening. In the lovely atmosphere of “Verkatehdas”, a former clothing factory, which is now a cultural centre for music and congresses, two brilliant musicians and composers of our days showed their exceptional musical talents and their friendship and esteem for each other.

Rodion Shchedrin and Olli Mustonen spoiled their audiences with some of their compositions. The concert was well attended. At the beginning they played Shchedrins “Romantic Duets” (2007), 7 pieces for piano four hands, followed by 3 sonatas from Mustonen, the sonata for oboe, the sonata for guitar and the sonata for violoncello and piano. After them for friends of chamber music were performed Shchedrin´s trio for flute, oboe and clarinet “Three shepherds” (1988) with superb feel of musicianship and empathy by Hanna Kinnunen (flute), Sole Mustonen (oboe) and Päivi Kiljala (clarinet). A special honour was bestowed afterwards on Shchedrin. Three fragments of his ballet “The three seagulls” (Croquet, Interlude and the finale of the 1st act) were played after adaptation of Mustonen for flute, oboe, clarinet and piano (Mustonen - piano). The finale of the concert consisted of the performance of the vocal cycle “My age, my wild beast” of Shchedrin based on texts of Ossip Mandelstam for tenor (Petteri Salomaa), narrator (Tiia Louste) and piano (Olli Mustonen).

This concert meant a further achievement of the intensive and productive cooperation of these exceptional artists. They reaped the award already for Shchedrin´s Concerto for piano and orchestra No.5 (1999) and the piano pieces of his “Questions” (2003), which were dedicated to Mustonen, which was first performed by same.