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

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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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