Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Conducting Class and Aarni Pennanen’s Recital

Wednesday the 16th of April. The day began with a really interesting seminar about percussions, held by our percussion teacher Harri Lehtinen. The thing that actually was most inspiring about the whole lecture was how super enthusiastic Lehtinen is about his own instrument. He thinks we composers should have a course about the history of all the percussion instruments, because two or three seminars isn’t enough for anything he said. This total commitment and enthusiasm is quite contagious, which is great!

After the seminar I headed of to Pirkanmaan musiikkiopisto for a second day of conducting lessons with Ari Rasilainen. This time I conducted my arrangement of my own piece “Kallare” (from my song cycle Dagbok). It has a lot of changing bar measures , so I find it hard to conduct (especially to also make music of it and not only be a metronome).

Once again Rasilainen began with a very accurate comment: “Now you are only hanging along on a ride while you actually at least should be the driver of the ride!” Well, I agreed with him but I had a hard time getting on that ride anyway, as also all the musicians were still sight-reading, so after two takes Rasilainen said “This piece seems good, can I please conduct it once? I want to know what it’s supposed to sound like.” So then he simply conducted it and concluded “Yes, very nice piece, you write very interesting music! Do you mind if Dae Myeong Park also conducts the piece?” which I of course didn’t mind at all. Also Park sight-read the piece perfectly and it was fun following once again from the side what other conductors pick out from my music.

The rest of the afternoon has gone past very quickly. I had to go and get my vegetable bag from Runsaudensarvi, then I went and listened to the chamber choir Näsin Äänis rehearsal of my pieces for my concert 14.5. I couldn’t though stay the whole rehearsal, because at 19.00 I wanted to go to a concert. I had once again a hard time choosing which concert to go to, because I had three alternatives: the string quartet “Uusi Helsinki Kvartetti” concert (who are quartet in residence at TAMK and also teach us chamber music), the concert of TAMK’s pianists or Aarni Pennanen’s recital. I chose the last one of these, because I knew how important it was for Aarni that his friends came to his concert.

The programme at Aarni’s recital was:

Usko Meriläinen: Opusculum
I.               Allegro amabile
II.             Andante tranquillo
III.           Allegretto grazioso
Sergei Prokofiev: Sonata in f-minor
I.               Andante assai
II.             Allegro brusco
III.           Andante

Pianist Tina Kärblane, who teaches accompaniment at TAMK, accompanied Aarni. It was a really nice concert and Aarni is such a great violinist! In his recital he played my good friend Matilda Seppäläs piece Ictus. It has been performed both by Aarni (premiere) and Tatuarttu Ruponen, an other great violin student. Their versions of the piece are very different but I like both interpretation of the piece.

I don’t know why I never have fallen in love with Brahms, he simply hasn’t got that something for me. The sonata was once again really nice and all, but it was nothing to me compared to Prokofiev! Prokofievs sonata is such a wonderful piece of music! And in over all it was an absolutely fantastic concert! I also took some really great pictures today but can't find the memory card anymore, so I will upload the pics later in case I find them...!

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