Thomas Dausgaard recently had a conversation with Andrew Mellor of Gramophone magazine on the disturbing and violent theme of Sibelius’s Kullervo. Speaking on the subject matter, Dausgaard starts off saying “Sometimes I wonder how Sibelius could have been attracted to such a terrible story” showing awareness of the depravity of the song theme. He shortly goes on to say “If there are rough corners, that’s part of it. He was forcing his way out of existing languages and forging something radically his own using untried techniques. It is full of integrity”.
Dausgaard also performed the music alongside soloists Helena Juntunen and Benjamin Appl with the BBC’s Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Lund Male chorus. The performances were executed at the Glasgow City Hall with Finnish “runo” song, herding calls, recitations from “The Kalevala” and the playing of Finland’s plucked national instrument, the kantele.
Dausgaard has a recording coming out on 28 June and on the topic he says “there are moments when we were more inclined to play like folk musicians than like the civilised beauty-creators of a symphony orchestra”.
The full article is in this months Gramophone Magazine.