performance was better, blending power, technique, artistic sensibility, and that sort of riveting presence that is simply a gift.
is a powerful player with unbelievable dynamic range.
There were places, like the passages in fast double octaves, where his
speed, power, and accuracy produced thrilling textures.
was able to voice lyricism in the concerto on several occasions, most notably in the Chopinesque figuration of the cadenza passage in the second movement.
Both orchestra and soloist collaborated to make the two opposed dances that comprise the finale sound vivid.
During the final triumphant statement of the work, which was the loudest sound of the evening, Rännäli
was still able to cut through with his
passagework--loud and clear.
was greeted with a lasting and noisy standing ovation from the Greenwich audience.
smiled and pointed toward the piano on his
hands and shouted "Don't worry, it is a short piece.
most recent CD, called "Intimate Garden" essays the complete works for piano of this composer.
At the close of the encore, Rännäli
sat still with his
hands on the keyboard as the sound disappeared slowly and silence crept in.
captured all the dynamics of this impressive work.
The Finnish-born pianist - having come here as a promising pianist in 1996 - came full circle with a superb performance.
handling of the roller-coaster composition, Rännäli
ranged from thunderous to sublime effect that included explosive power in dramatic passages, facile technique in runs and sensitivity in lyric phrases.
And in the conclusion of his
retarded the tempo, softened the volume and faded to infinity.
One readily agrees, too, with Mika Rännäli
's identification of its 'childlike charm, a touch of mischief, wild boisterousness', what he
calls its 'Ostrobothnian fervour' I suppose can be taken on trust.
has an interesting mixed portfolio.
is not only a composer but also three-times Finnish champion in Latin American and ballroom dancing - a not irrelevant attribute, perhaps, given Madetoja's penchant for minuets, waltzes and gavottes.
The soloist, Mika Rännäli
, respected the character of the work (Choral Fantasy by Beethoven) with his
well-proportioned playing, which was based on the right amount of contrasts.
The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the conductor Okko Kamu were also at their best in the Fantasy .
Helsingin Sanomat, Finland (November 2004)
The First Piano Concerto by Shostakovitch seems to fit Mika Rännäli
The work in many places requires a circus-like atmosphere and Rännäli's personality is known to possess at least a hint of those qualities.
This time the emotional climax was in the Second Movement where Rännäli
created the Slavic longing in the best Rachmaninoff style.
The First Movement concentrated more on elegance and lyricism than the slapstick aesthetics of the silent movie era.
The speed race was saved for the finale.
Kaleva, Finland (March 2004)
was an excellent soloist in the First Piano Concerto by Franz Liszt.
was also capable of enjoying the calmer moods pleasurably.
The collaboration between Mika Rännäli and conductor Tibor Boganyi worked admirably well, balance and the rhythmic elements were in perfect harmony and the famous triangle solo was brilliant.
The program of Mika Rännäli
's recital was a versatile combination ranging from Mozart to Madetoja, from Liszt to Ginastera without forgetting the Russians, Scriabin and Rachmaninoff.
Joyful rhythms and the successful characterization of the dances seemed to fit Rännäli
's virtuosity as well as his
musical and determined approach made a huge impression throughout the concert.
On Saturday and Sunday, pianist Mika Rännäli played the complete piano works by Leevi Madetoja.
's playing revealed his
meticulous preparation and deep understanding from the first note to the last.
The well-known First Piano Concerto by Tchaikovsky was interpreted by a rising star, pianist Mika Rännäli and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vasili Sinaiski.
Mika Rännäli is a lyrical poet who doesn't shout his emotions with the piano.
delicately reveals his
intelligent musical ideas to the listener.
molded the rhythms in the first movement of the concerto freely and with rubato, whereas the second and third movements were a celebration of clear sound and lively rhythms.
lived the music to the full.
I had the impression that both the composer and the interpreter possess more than a hint of satiric humor.
interpreted Scriabin's expressionism in a tumultuously quite different way from Englund´s classicism.
interpretation had just the powerful intensity that the work requires.
also presented another kind of Scriabin as his
encore, a beautifully spiritual prelude.
Claude Debussy´s four preludes and L´Isle joyeuse demonstrated that, in addition to his breath-taking rhythmic fireworks, Rännäli
can fully master and command the sound itself.
All in all, Mika Rännäli is a charismatic pianist who truly knows how to connect to the listener!
Iisalmen Sanomat, Finland (July 2000)
In the Ravel Piano Concerto young Mika Rännäli
claws, and they were sharp.
structured the work with exceptional accuracy, showing off his
bravura skills securely and elegantly and also revealing the jazz-like and down-to-earth qualities of the music.
's Mozart Playing has Fluent Elegance.
In music circles, Mika Rännäli
is known as a multifaceted talent.
slender elegance and grand manner go beyond that of other young pianists.
playing has acquired even more lightness and dancing suppleness than before -- rich in colour, with fluent virtuosity and sparkling rhythm.
The destiny-filled gloom and tempestuous roar of the concerto's first movement were left behind like a distant memory, their agonising shadows unable to reach either the graceful Romanze or the playful finale.
The cadenzas, which cleverly showcased his
enormous talent, struck me as extraordinary.
I discovered later that they had been written by Mr. Rännäli
Helsingin Sanomat, Finland (April 2000)
Luminous Mozart by a Promising Pianist
was the soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor , and he
played it with excellent balance and full of Viennese classical linearity.
playing also awoke interest with its surface brilliance.
generated a sound full of brightness, sensitivity and refinement.
I especially enjoyed the lyrical main theme of the slow movement which attained a true Mozartian childlike innocence and simplicity.
This was Rännäli's
first public performance of the concerto and it proved his
was an individualist -- heroic, gentlehanded -- conveying his
spirit, and the Scriabin spirit, with both delicacy and (paradoxically) strength.
interpreted the Haydn Sonata in his
own strongly individual way -- especially the Adagio movement which was almost impressionistically painted.
I admired his
fingerwork and his
pliant and precise touch in the fast movements.
An unfailingly clear and bright Haydn.
showed a contrasting side of his
interpretive powers in the Etude-Tableau, Op.
33, No. 9 by Rachmaninov.
The etude was volcanic and rich with strong emotions.
This dark side of Slav Romanticism seems to fit Rännäli
perfectly and the Scriabin Etudes were also full of whirling emotions.
In the two Opera Fantasies by Liszt, especially with the Verdi-Liszt Rigoletto , Rännäli
created a very skillful illusion of the orchestra.
is both very gifted and full of essential conviction.
plays Bach lyrically and quietly.
With delicate use of the pedal he
blends the Preludes and Fugues of The Well Tempered Clavier into the church's own natural acoustics.
Mr.Rännäli gives a most amazing interpretation of the Prelude and Nocturne for the left hand Op.9 by Scriabin.
With eyes closed, I could have sworn that the pianist was using (at least) two hands.
played the most difficult passages with ease.
After the intermission, the drowsy calm is broken.
The Chopin B minor Etude (Op. 25, No. 10) pours out its infernal octaves with maximum power and Rännäli
truly triumphs in the fff passages.
Emma Vähälä, Sennu Laine and especially the young master of the piano Mika Rännäli
caught a most genuine Russian nostalgia in the Piano Trio No.1 'Elégiaque' by Rachmaninoff.