If we can’t trust bankers, economists or debtors anywhere, at least in Helsinki there are still quite a few things you can trust. You can trust
… that Stokkers will go mad twice a year.
… that it’ll be rainy and cold in late October.
… cold and rainy enough to need lots of firewood and other warm stuff for the Occupy Helsinki Camp/real democracy activists who have set up tents behind Sanomatalo. They are camped (quite legally) in the area that some call Kansalaistori (Citizens’ Square) (though for some users it’ll cost ya, a snip at the citizenly price of 49 000 Euros…)
You can trust the city and Helsingin Leijona to make a hash of the “regeneration” of the area around Helsinki’s Senate Square like the old Kiseleff Bazaar (where Stokkers once was, by the way). And don’t even mention their English language web pages!
You can also trust Finns in service professions to respond to shortcomings with an appeal to technology (“our computer system doesn’t…”) rather than an apology and a smile.
But above all trust this city to offer up good classical music.
That is how JHJ got to see those world-changers’ tents in the first place. An aged relative offered a ticket at very short notice for today’s early evening concert.
To others the building pulses with rhythm and emotion, and with perfection that’s rare in these untrusting, impatient, times.
Today’s concert by the Helsinki Philharmonic featured a melodious new work by veteran composer Aulis Sallinen. Nice enough as it was, and impressive as Okko Kamu’s conducting looked, it seems the audience were there to celebrate and lap up the warmth and virtuosity of Aale Lindgren.
Lindgren wasn’t just the day’s soloist, he is “orchestra member of the month” according to the programme. Which is worth translating and quoting at length.
I am Aale Asser Armas Lindgren, I was born 17.11.1951 in Kemi. I guess I spent my first year in Haukiputaa old people’s home, apparently happyfying its elderly residents. For a few years I was fostered in the same parish after which I was moved into a large family in Sipoo.
Song was one of our great joys. Our teacher … founded a choir in which most of the singers must have been my dark-eyed co-residents. Often the teacher gave me solos, which I greatly enjoyed.
So-called classical music got a hold of me early on, but I kept my passion to myself afraid that the other children might mock me for it.
My real family has been the Helsinki Philharmonic, which adopted me in 1972, 1st of September at 10 in the morning. The sisters and brothers with whom I have had the pleasure to have played, are large in my heart. My fathers have been conductors … mothers I’m still in want of.
The audience I have always loved and love I’ve received in return.
Apologies to all for such a long quote. Hope you liked it.