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 Christoffer von Bonsdorff sends this report from the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival 1998:


I had the luck to visit Kuhmo chamber festival this summer. I live in Helsinki in the south of Finland and Kuhmo lies far north near the Russian border and I first visited a foklore festival in Kaustinen in the north-west.
 I heard the quartets no. 5-10 (in reverse order) and some songs and chamber
music by HVL and other Brazilians - Pixinguinha, Nazareth, Gnattali (also non-Brazilians like Janácek, Dvorák, Bartók, Sibelius, Milhaud etc, who, by the way, like HVL represent the ethnically inspired music of our century - when will we hear the music of the Bulgarian Pancho Vladigerov?) As I am a big fan of HVL (I once wrote a letter to the festival and suggested that they should play the string quartets) I really enjoyed the program. I heard a sample of Villa-Lobos´ different periods: the 8th, 9th and 10th which are a little heavy and atonal, and then some more light folkloristic ones. I especially liked the Lithuanian Ciurlionis-quartet who made very intensive interpretations of nrs 7 and 9, the German Henschel quartet (nr 6) and the Uusi Helsinki-kvartetti (nr 8).



From the indiviudual performances I will like especially to mention a brilliant and dynamic Fantasia concertante (in my opinion one of his best works) by the trio Brunner, Särkkä, Lagerspetz and Suite for soprano and violin performed by the Swedish singer Gitta-Maria Sjöberg and Ik-Hwan Bae.
In the late evenings there were cavaquinho-guitar duets and
some Brazilian jazz, a nice complement to the chamber music.



I hope the different quartets will use the opportunity to record some of the pieces, which still are very badly known and often criticized because they
don´t always follow the classical rules of European music (it is not European after all!). We could appreciate it as a kind of "world music".

Christoffer von Bonsdorff


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