"This past Friday featured the dark (and amazing) Kullervo Symphony (1892) by Jean Sibelius, along with a Finlandia finale. A new composition, Migrations, by current composer Olli Kortekangas, was also premiered. This featured the texts of four poems by Duluthian Sheila Packa, who has strong Finnish roots.
This turned out to be two and a half riveting hours of music in Finnish and English, sung by the 58-member YL male chorus from Finland, as well as soprano Lilli Paasikivi and baritone Tommi Hakala. Maestro Vanska has performed this piece for probably twenty years, and his interpretation of this dark and violent excerpt from The Kalevala is authoritative. I was not in Minneapolis, but I sat glued to my radio performance from 8:00 - 10:30 pm for this glorious music from one of the world’s truly great orchestras. It looks like Friday, February 19 will be next, with two of Sibelius’ Symphonies along with the Violin Concerto. I invite you to tune in."