Friday, 21 March 2014

“The Interplanetary Surfer” Leif Segerstam

Friday March 21st. Tonight the legendary conductor Leif Segerstam conducted our school orchestra Pyynikki Sinfonia together with Pori Sinfonietta. The programme was:

The Interplanetary Surfer 70th anniversary 21.3. Friday at 19 Pyynikki-sali (F.E.Sillanpään katu 9)

Leif Segerstam, conductor
Jan Söderblom, conductor, violin

Leif Segerstam: Divertimento

Tickets: 30,50/ 22,50/7,50 €, Lippupalvelu

This concert was full of surprises and very enjoyable! The surprising part for me was the programme. I hadn’t listened to Bergs chamber concerto, but as I usually like Berg, I was looking forward to his piece. But I have to say, it was actually quite a boring piece. The soloists Emil Holmström and Jan Söderblom were fantastic, and at times managed to uplift the boring piece slightly, but generally the sonority of the wind orchestra was quite the same all the time.

But after this slightly disappointing surprise came a very positive surprise: Segerstams “Skizzen aus Pandora” for orchestra. This is one of the most fun pieces I have heard in a long time! It felt extremely fresh and new for me, although it’s from 1967, so Segerstam was 23 when he wrote it. Nowadays when you hear the word “Segerstams composition” people usually associate it with his free-pulsative symphonies, which most people aren’t so very fond of. Personally I don’t either care much for his symphonies, but “Skizzen aus Pandora” wasn’t free-puslative at all, on the contrary, it at times reminded me of Stravinskis Rite of Spring due to it’s strong rythimical elements. But Skizzen aus Pandora also had fun jazzy elements and all kind of exciting ideas.

Segerstams Divertimento reminded me much of Bartok, and I liked the piece (Segerstam was 19 when he wrote it), but it wasn't such a mind blowing experience for me like “Skizzen aus Pandora” was. Skizzen aus Pandora you can find on Spotify and in the Naxos online library, recorded for the label BIS.

Last but not least Segerstam conducted Sibelius seventh symphony. Pyynikki Sinfonia had played the same same symphony at a wonderful concert on the 16th of February conducted by Markus Yli-Jokipii, but once again the symphony sounded almost like a different piece with a different conductor. I can’t say anything else than Segerstam truly is a genius conductor!

After the concert most musicians went for a traditional drink in the local bar. I had had a headache all evening and was only going to stay for a hour or so, but once again famous last words… The evening was really nice, great company, so got home once again at 3 AM. Oh well, 5 hours sleep, then time to get ready for work at sea!

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