Overview: After 55 Years, the Helsinki Philharmonic Returns to Carnegie Corridor

Overview: After 55 Years, the Helsinki Philharmonic Returns to Carnegie Corridor

That piece is just too well-known for its personal good and is usually performed with ineffective sentimentality. But beneath Mälkki’s baton, and with this orchestra — Sibelius’s sound world etched in its bones — “Finlandia” was newly disarming, modestly dignified in its touching harmonies and iron-willed fanfares.

It was a supply paying homage to this system’s opener, “Lemminkäinen’s Return,” the fourth legend from Sibelius’s “Lemminkäinen Suite,” primarily based on the “Kalevala,” Finland’s nationwide epic. A short finale to a protracted work, the “Return” is all climax, however Mälkki maintained a stage head, unleashing a little bit of fiery folks aggression right here and there, however for probably the most half emphasizing shade and letting it bloom with grandeur that was assured somewhat than insistent.

Saariaho’s flute concerto “L’Aile du Songe,” from 2001, was a quietly private contact of programming: Mälkki, who like Saariaho lives in Paris, is a good friend and eminent interpreter of her music. And for the Carnegie efficiency, Mälkki was joined by one other earlier collaborator, the flutist Claire Chase, within the solo half. (Those two just lately introduced Felipe Lara’s glorious Double Concerto, which had premiered in Helsinki, to the New York Philharmonic.)

The flute — human, elemental — has been considered one of Saariaho’s favored devices, for which she has written a few of her most dreamily poetic music. Here, it sings briefly phrases above suspended textures that aren’t melodies per se, however that construct to broadly expressed gestures.

In the second motion, the soloist vocalizes alongside notated enjoying, which Chase dispatched along with her trademark theatricality. She and the Finns have been satisfyingly united of their therapy of a few of the work’s most beautiful particulars: downward glissandos that evoke a shortly passing, or maybe dying, flare of sound; a celestial sluggish fade that ascends but ebbs, in the long run, to inaudibility.

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