October 3, 2022
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Throughout a rehearsal in Los Angeles in October, Mälkki was, as in Helsinki, amiable and assertive. Carolyn Hove, the Philharmonic’s English horn participant, described Mälkki as “100% ready” by the point she arrives on the podium, and that “when a conductor is actually environment friendly, it simply makes our jobs a lot extra enjoyable.”

Whereas working by Scriabin’s “Le Poème de l’Extase,” Mälkki gestured to sections of the ensemble but additionally let her gaze shift upward. (“Some folks pay attention with their eyes closed,” she stated, “and I suppose my method of wanting up is similar, that I wish to free my ears.”) All of the whereas, she stored notes in her head that she rattled off as quickly because the enjoying stopped.

These notes have been thorough, and essential, because the orchestra rehearsed for the American premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s “Vista,” a bit devoted to Mälkki, who’s a number one navigator of Saariaho’s idiosyncratic sound world. “I all the time trusted her, and he or she understands my music,” Saariaho stated in June, shortly earlier than Mälkki performed the world premiere of her opera “Innocence” on the Aix-en-Provence Competition in France.

Over the previous 20 years, their relationship has developed to the purpose the place, Saariaho stated, “we don’t must verbalize very a lot.” When “L’Amour de Loin” arrived on the Metropolitan Opera in 2016, Saariaho insisted that Mälkki conduct it. (She’s going to return to the Met to conduct Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress” this spring.)

Mälkki’s specialty in dwelling composers like Saariaho is among the causes she was dropped at Los Angeles, Smith stated. “The opposite half,” he added, “was simply the way in which she thinks about programming, which is exclusive.” He used that October live performance for example: opening with “Vista,” adopted by Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto and the “Poème.”

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