Sunday, 3 February 2019

Klaus Mäkelä at Bergen Philharmonic - why you need to know

Klaus Mäkelä, photo : Harrison Parrott

The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Klaus Mäkelä, livestreamed from Norway, with   Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor" with Javier Perianes, and Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No. 10.  The Bergeners are always worth listening to and you really can't get enough of Beethoven, but the surprise here was Klaus Mäkelä. Who? you might ask.  I hadn't heard of him til this Bergen concert and was surprised to find out how good he is.  But even more shocked to learn his age. 

Born in 1996, he's still only 22 yet he's Principal Guest Conductor at the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and has just been appointed Chief and Artistic Advisor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.  So have a listen to the link here. Weather conditions seem to have messed up the video, but the audio is clear.  He conducted Shostakovich 10 at Gothenberg a few months ago, and has the measure of it.  A very stylish, refined reading, which is OK. Shostakovich does not need to be craggy and violent. It's the music that counts, not the persona.  From what I've been reading Mäkelä himself is pretty stylish, too - likes sharp suits asnd is clearly fashion-aware.  That alone should enrage the kind of listeners who on principle are determined to hate anyone young, successful and non-butch macho, which says more about their own insecurities than about those whom they hate. This guy has potential.  It's hard to tell from one concert but he seems to have the gloss of Nézet-Séguin, but greater depth and a willingess to take informed risks.  Management is Harrison Parrott, who have a lot lined up for him in the near future.

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