Maria Puusaari © Touko Hujanen

Maria Puusaari, viulu

Hannu Pohjannoro: Hiljaisuuteen (2015) in memory of composer Jouni Kaipainen
Sampo Haapamäki: Logo (2013)
Outi Tarkiainen: Kunnes kivi halkeaa (2008)
Osmo Tapio Räihälä: (G)astronomia (2015) (first performance ), text Suvi Valli
Sauli Zinovjev: Arco (2014)
Perttu Haapanen: Lost Boys (first performance)
Jovanka Trbojevic Usko (2004)

‘Memories and expectations’ is a recital consisting of solo violin works by Finnish composers. Being a member of Uusinta Ensemble and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra is excellent for becoming acquainted with new Finnish works and their composers. Solo violin pieces are my personal oasis in the world of chamber music. I look for works and stories that can bring a programme together.

Poetry and sound emerged as the theme for this programme almost by stealth. Here, the violin explores the threshold of silence and the extremes of its range, and the soundscape is augmented by Tibetan gongs and electronics projecting street noise. Video is also included.

Hannu Pohjannoro, with hiljaisuuteen [into silence] (2015), pays tribute to his Tampere-based composer colleague Jouni Kaipainen, who passed away last year. The composer has fallen silent, but his music lives!

Sampo Haapamäki’s Logo for violin and live electronics takes the violinist on a journey into the realm of quarter-tones and pedal-controlled electronics. This is the composer’s first piece with live electronics, so new and interesting paths are to be expected.

Kunnes kivi halkeaa [Until the stone cracks] by Outi Tarkiainen to a poem by Sirkka Turkka is like a modern keening or lament, which expressively holds on to every single second of existence.

(G)astronomia by Osmo Tapio Räihälä to a poem by Suvi Valli is actually a duo for reciter and violinist, although a voluble person may play both parts. The poem explores the extremes of life, between the mundane and the infinite.

Sauli Zinovjev seeks beauty in his music, and accordingly Arco focuses on the melodic properties of the violin in various registers. The allusion to César Franck’s utterly Romantic Violin Sonata in A major at the culmination could not be more appropriate.

The oldest work on the programme, in a way, is the premiere by Perttu Haapanen, as it has been a work in progress since 2008. At the time of this writing, the piece is unknown to the present writer, but collaborating with the composer is part of the enjoyment of commissioning a piece, and I do know that I will have video to control.

Usko Meriläinen, the founder of the Tampere Biennale, was an important source of encouragement for myself. Performing his Opusculum for solo violin was in a way the starting point for my solo violin project. I fondly wish that my audience will go out humming a tune in remembrance of Usko!

-Maria Puusaari

The concert ends at about 15.00.