“It’s a tie between being in Kaffibarinn, a rowdy pub in Reykjavík, playing Steve Reich’s Violin Phase with three other violinists from the MCO, and in Merano, listening to Beethoven 7 after having played the concerto. I had never had a better time performing the Beethoven concerto, despite (or thanks to) the fact that the conductor had cancelled his participation in the project. Afterwards, I was given a glass of white and a front-row seat to see the MCO play Beethoven's Symphony no. 7, and I had never heard it performed in such a way. Everyone took complete ownership of the performance, and it was an explosion of dance and love.”
- Pekka Kuusisto, when asked what his most memorable moment with the MCO is.
Ever since Pekka Kuusisto’s first collaboration with the MCO in 2014, his encounters with the orchestra – as a soloist, leader and chamber musician – have always been everything but conventional. Pekka Kuusisto is equally at home with the classical canon and the realms of Nordic folk music, electronic music and improvisation; this flexibility closely ties in with the MCO’s agility in crossing musical, cultural and geographical boundaries. Thus, Pekka’s deep understanding of the core repertoire is complemented by a fresh approach that provides listeners with a new understanding of these works.
That also defines the programme of this tour, a combination of very well-known pieces with lesser-performed music. The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives opens a musical dialogue, where the solo trumpet asks a question. The ‘answerers’ are the woodwinds, who play chromatic motifs, which become more and more animated. The question and answers lack any sort of connection, however, which creates isolation and hopelessness. The suite from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Felix Mendelssohn gives us an insight into a dream world, where reality and dreams cannot always be told apart.