Beethoven’s Fifth, one of the most powerful symphonies – and probably the best-loved – in all classical music, forms the climax of the Minnesota Orchestra’s concert under respected Music Director Osmo Vänskä. Orchestra and conductor bring their dazzling sonic exuberance back to the Edinburgh International Festival following their acclaimed performance in 2010.
Vänskä has long been admired in particular for his compelling accounts of Beethoven and Scandinavian music, with a captivating intensity in the rich, evocative works of Sibelius, two of which form the concert’s first half.
Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto is one of today’s most distinctive musicians, with a characteristic folk rawness to his playing. He brings an authentic Nordic ruggedness to his compatriot Sibelius’s virtuosic Violin Concerto, by turns melancholy and vibrantly melodic.
Vänskä opens his concert with Sibelius’s magical, folk-inspired tone poem Pohjola’s Daughter.
What strikes me every time I hear Kuusisto play is the amount of rawness and vulnerability he allows in his colour palette – often uncomfortable and challenging, even when the repertoire is familiar.
Osmo Vänskä Conductor
Pekka Kuusisto Violin
Sibelius Pohjola’s Daughter
Sibelius Violin Concerto
Beethoven Symphony No 5
More information about some of the artists