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Great reviews for Total Immersion: Esa-Pekka Salonen, Barbican

BBC Symphony Orchestra – Total Immersion: Esa-Pekka Salonen
Anu Komsi & Piia Komsi, BBC Singers, Nicholas Chalmers, Nicholas Daniel, Sakari Oramo
Sunday, December 10, 2017 Milton Court Concert Hall & Barbican Hall, London
“Wing on Wing, composed for the opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, is a huge, celebratory piece that deserves to survive beyond its original purpose thanks to its big imagination and the chance it offered to hear Anu and Piia Komsi, the Finnish high-wire soprano twins.”  – Richard Fairman, Financial Times Financial Times – Salonen Total Immersion review – 11 December 2017

“Attractive woodwind riffs bubble up through the curtain-raiser Gambit, and the writing for the phenomenal Komsi twins, Anu (Mrs Oramo) and Piia in Wing on Wing (pictured above with Oramo and the BBCSO), previously heard performing the work in the same hall over a decade ago, never repeats the opening siren-like formula for them as they move around the hall. It would be hard to imagine this half-hour extravaganza without them; anyone resistant to the confrontational glamour of the piece would still have to make obeisance to their luminous blend of the vocal and the instrumental,” – David Nice, The Arts Desk
The Arts Desk – Salonen Total Immersion concert review – 11 December 2017

“On a much larger scale, his half-hour Wing on Wing (2004) expands this approach. He wrote it for the opening of Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, a wildly virtuosic piece of statement architecture matched by the Californian confidence of Salonen’s music. The huge orchestra comes with two coloratura sopranos (sisters Anu and Piia Komsi; Anu is married to Sakari Oramo), the electronically sampled voice of Gehry, more drawl than words, and the ‘song’ of the plainfin midshipman, a remarkably ugly fish that thrives in that part of the ocean. The title refers to the maximum area of sail on a boat, which in turn refers to a particular view of the Disney Hall. The Komsi sisters (who sang in the world and UK premieres) were in stratospheric voice and had their work cut out legging it to the uppermost parts of the auditorium for vocalise effects (with results similar to Holst’s Planets Suite), and the piece ranges from a monolithic solidity on a par with ‘The Great Gate of Kiev’ to a superbly realised impressionism so vaporous as to re-site La mer in the Pacific. Salonen’s programme note was useful but you got the gist of the piece without it. It is action-packed music, completely justifying the extravagant forces and played and conducted with irresistible can-do bravura.” – Peter Reed, Classical Source

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New CD: Zoltán Jeney: Wohin

New recording of Wohin, by Zoltán Jeney. 

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Gábor Csalog (piano), György Déri (cello), Piia Komsi (soprano)
MR Symphony Orchestra and MR Choir, Krulik String Quartet, MR Symphony Orchestra, Zoltán Kocsis

Jeney: Songs of Innocence and Experience
Pia Komsi (soprano)

Available at Presto Classical

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Fragments from Medea

Medea by Benda (Salome Kammer), Medeamaterial by Pascal Dusapin (Medea: Piia Komsi).
Production 2017 Bologna Teatro Comunale.

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Bologna 2017: Medea/Medeamaterial

MEDEAMATERIAL
by Pascal Dusapin
Opera libretto by Heiner Mueller (1992) for soprano, voice quartet, chorus and orchestra

Teatro Comunale di Bologna
October 11th – 12th, 2017


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Photos: Rocco Casaluci
MEDIA high-res download: Medea/Medeamaterial photos © Rocco Casaluci

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Cafe Budapest Festival: The Sirens Cycle by Péter Eötvös

Piia Komsi with the Calder Quartet, and Péter Eötvös
Cafe Budapest Festival, October 15th 2017

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Photo credit: Posztós János / CAFe Budapest

Media upload with high-res:
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Bologna Modern 2017: Medea / Medeamaterial

As part of Bologna Modern 2017, the contemporary music theatre Medeamaterial – by French composer Pascal Dusapin and with libretto by the German poet, writer and dramatist Heiner Müller, is combined with the 1775 one-act play Medea by Georg Benda.

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Medea by Evelyn de Morgan, 1889

Teatro Comunale di Bologna
October 11th – 12th, 2017 at 8:00 pm – TICKETS ONLINE

MEDEA
by Georg Benda
Melodrama in one act – libretto by Wilhelm Gotter | for actors and orchestra

MEDEAMATERIAL
by Pascal Dusapin
Opera libretto by Heiner Mueller (1992) for soprano, voice quartet, chorus and orchestra

BENDA

Medea
Salome Kammer
Jason
Paul Suter

DUSAPIN

Medea
Piia Komsi
Jason
Paul Suter

Quartetto vocale
Gabriella Costa, soprano
Sabina Martin, soprano
Katarzyna Otczyk, mezzosoprano
Konstantin Derri, controtenore

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Comunale di Bologna
Direttore
Marco Angius
Ideazione e regia
Pamela Hunter

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Helsinki Chamber Music Festival: “Klasari viihteellä”

Wednesday, July 5th 2017: Bryggerin lava. Performing Noaiddi and Aurinko isäni by composer Aija Puurtinen.

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New York: Great Reviews for Wing on Wing

” (..) their parts were sung with voluptuous colorings by the sisters Anu and Piia Komsi.” New York Times
“Sister sopranos Anu and Piia Komsi were extraordinary in the stratospheric vocal parts, starting onstage and reappearing in other spots around the hall.” New York Classical Review

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May 19th: Premiere with New York Philharmonic

Coming soon: The New York premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’sWing on Wing, with sopranos Piia Komsi and Anu Komsi and the New York Philharmonic!

Wing on Wing is included in the program of ‘Alan Gilbert’s Farewell Concerts’, titled ‘Kavakos Plays Brahms’.

There will be three performances on the stage of the David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center:

Friday, May 19th, Saturday, May 20th, and Tuesday, May 23rd.

New York Philharmonic

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Rave Reviews for Sirens Cycle

World Premiere: Péter Eötvös’ The Sirens Cycle, Wigmore Hall London
Piia Komsi performing with the the Calder Quartet, October 1st, 2016

“And the outstanding soprano Piia Komsi, taking over from Barbara Hannigan, was equal to its extreme demands, smoothly switching between English, ancient Greek and German.” – Hannah Nepil, Financial Times

“Most of all, though, the whole 40-minute work sets a fearsome test for any coloratura soprano, and Komsi passed it superbly, meeting every challenge with real operatic brilliance.” – Andrew Clements, The Guardian

“Although Barbara Hannigan was scheduled to sing, I was thrilled to hear that Piia Komsi was stepping in at very short notice indeed, for Komsi’s voice is phenomenal, capable of extremes of pitch and textures beyond the range of most, combined with extraordinarily crisp articulation. Her voice is almost superhumanly elastic, her diction precise even in phrases as convoluted as those thrown at her by Joyce and Eötvös. She embodied the Sirens, supernatural beings who defy the boundaries of Nature. Komsi’s death-defying flights up and down the scale could drive one mad with rapture. Komsi is a vocal gymnast, but so poised that she can make the ethereal sound perfectly natural. (..) Eötvös captures the metre of the poet’s individual language. The lines seem to curve upon themselves like sonorous echoes. The Sirens (or rather Komsi and the Calder Quartet) seduce in honeyed tones: Komsi’s voice warms sensuously, the violins, viola and cello singing along with her, in luscious chorus.” – Anne Ozorio,  Opera Today

“The focus of the evening was the world premiere of Eötvös’s The Sirens Cycle, settings of James Joyce, Homer and Kafka for high soprano. The extraordinarily demanding vocals were taken on superbly by Piia Komsi (sister of Anu) at short notice, following the withdrawal of Barbara Hannigan. Komsi was amazing.” – Amanda-Jane Doran, Classical Source

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