Rothko Chapel

14.2.09 8pm Sandels House of Culture, Töölöntori, Helsinki

Christophe Desjardins, viola
Anna Kuvaja, celesta
Antti Suoranta, percussion
James Andean, sound engineer

Helsinki Chamber Choir, conductor Nils Schweckendiek

The quiet intensity of Morton Feldman’s half-hour tribute to the paintings of Mark Rothko could not be further removed from the manic complexity of Brian Ferneyhough’s recent Stelae for Failed Time for 12 singers and electronics.  Maija Hynninen’s Helsinki Chamber Choir commission completes an evening of contrasts.

Morton Feldman:
Rothko Chapel
Maija Hynninen:
new work (HKK commission, world premiere)
Brian Ferneyhough:
Stelae for Failed Time
(Finnish premiere)

The lines of each section of the choir were straight and clear, as if played by instruments, and yet soft and flexible, supporting an unbroken sense of breathing. Each group sang with pure intonation and the resonance between the voices took on a life of its own, so that the whole space was filled with ringing colours.
Hannu-Ilari Lampila,
Helsingin Sanomat, Finland