Tarmo Peltokoski - Mozart Symphonies. The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. © 2024 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH


A Great Discovery

GERALD FENECH listens to Mozart from the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Tarmo Peltokoski

'... absolutely enthralling ...'


In all truth, I am head over heels about this issue. You might be asking, what's all the fuss about? These three Mozart symphonies are staple diet and their artistic worth has long been established and enjoyed. This is all true, but from my point of judgement, the real star of this disc is the young Finnish conductor Tarmo Peltokoski, whose conducting just swept me off my feet. I am ready to accept different perceptions, but this young musician is undoubtedly a genius of the baton. No wonder he is creating such a stir among people both sides of the Atlantic.

Listen — Mozart: Allegro con spirito (Symphony No 35 in D)
(4865744 track 1, 1:42-2:27) ℗ 2024 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH :

Born in Vaasa on 21 April 2000, Peltokoski is of Finnish ancestry on his father's side and Filipino ancestry on his mother's side. His first piano studies began at the age of eight, but only when he heard Wagner's Ring three years later, did he decided to become a professional musician with the urge to discover more. Aged fourteen, his father contacted Jorma Panula about accepting his son for conducting studies. Following a meeting between the young lad and Panula at an annual master class in Vaasa, the latter accepted him as a private conducting student for the next four years. Peltokoski continued his music studies at the Sibelius Academy where his instructors included, among others, Sakari Oramo and Hannu Lintu.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen invited Peltokoski for a guest-conducting engagement in late 2020, and this catapulted him towards his already stellar career. The Bremen appointment led to a more substantial position with this orchestra, when he was named as the first principal guest-conductor of this ensemble in January 2022. Peltokoski is the first conductor to be granted that title in the orchestra's history.

Since January 2022, Peltokoski became first guest conductor of music and artistic director of a number of world class orchestras which include the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de Toulouse. In January 2023, Peltokoski made his guest conducting debut in North America with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, and in October of last year the budding conductor signed a recording contract with DGG, the fruit of which is this album, which is also Peltokoski's recording debut.

In March of this year, Classic FM selected this young prodigy as one of their thirty 'Rising Stars' of the year. As regards the programme, the three Mozart symphonies - Nos 35, 36 and 40 - certainly do not need any introduction. We have enjoyed them so many times, and much has been written about them. So what's so special about these renditions?

Listen — Mozart: Andante (Symphony No 36 in C)
(4865744 track 13, 3:57-4:57) ℗ 2024 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH :

For me, they are absolutely enthralling, engrossing, enchanting - indeed, while listening, I kept asking myself, did Mozart revise these symphonies without our knowing, and we are still in the dark? Rapturous conducting that penetrates deep down to the very soul of the music, revealing the phenomenal humanity of Salzburg's greatest musical son.

Listen — Mozart: Allegro assai (Symphony No 40 in G minor)
(4865744 track 9, 5:31-6:29) ℗ 2024 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH :

In a recent concert review, the Berlin Tagesspiegel wrote:

Peltokoski is a talent of a century. His interpretive feats appear effortless - conducting seems to come entirely naturally to him.

A great discovery for all to enjoy.

Copyright © 5 June 2024 Gerald Fenech,
Gzira, Malta



 << Home              Next review >>