Chamber Music Festival celebration in Tampere: Gothóni’s and Cohen’s profound playing made music become real

Tampere Chamber Music -festival took place during a tight schedule this year, while also a new national opera had an opening in Tampere Hall during the same week.

There was still a reasonable amount of audience to enjoy chamber music. Pianist Heini Kärkkäinen was yet again able to assemble a brilliant group of artists to appear at her festival.

The deepest level was reached during Saturday’s concert by pianist Ralf Gothóni and cellist Robert Cohen with Beethoven’s Bei Männern Variations.

From Mozart’s The Magic Flute theme was born a nuance-full ten-minute study about love yearning, bliss of life, moments of doubt and clarity.

Gothóni’s pianism has become ever more crystallized and spiritualized through the accumulated years. Even now there was not even one single meaningless sound or phrase.

At the same level with him was Cohen, undoubtedly the most delicate-handed and natural cellist in the world.

From the seemingly simple music grew variation by variation ever stronger journey to the essence of humanity, which exists behind the notes. This playing was very real!

Potent was also Brahms clarinet trio performance, although instead of clarinet there was now a viola present. Pianist Kärkkäinen, cellist Cohen and violist Juan-Miguel Hernandéz performed with great passion of spirit and skill.

After last night’s absence due to falling ill, Kärkkäinen returned to the piano with her well-known fervor.

Some new music was also heard during the concert, for example Madera Ocaso by Ramon Paus, composed for piano and viola. The somewhat long piece gained additional energy by the dance notes of Minna Tervamäki and Kaari Martin.

The finest coalescence of music and dance was experienced during Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, in which the guitar virtuosity of Ismo Eskelinen and the statuesque dance of Tervamäki intertwined seamlessly together.

Concert review by the pianist Heini Kärkkäinen
Original text by Harri Hautala