”The highlight of the evening was still Senja Rummukainen’s sensationally fine performance of Shostakovich’s first cello concerto.  Rarely do you hear such an emotional matter in the expression – which, however, never sounded the slightest exaggerated or forcibly suppressed – in combination with such exquisitely mastered sound and intonation care.

”The intensity was total, but still constantly under control, and since even the purity was consistently admirable, it can not be helped that a young Rostropovich sometimes fell in love with one.

Get to see how long Rummukainen is content with the second cellist podium in the orchestra ranks.  Both the technical level and the interpretive will point towards an international soloist career – if she is willing to invest everything on that card, of course.  Still the playing in general?  First-class, with Mika Paajanen’s delicious horn solo as the golden edge of it all, and the performance could de facto have been put directly on the jar.”

Huvudstadsbladet/Mats Liljeroos 8.5.2021 (translated)

”Cellist Senja Rummukainen excelled as a soloist with the Helsinki Philharmonic.” 

”The Friday concert of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra went so quickly from one atmosphere to another that the listener did not occasionally stay with it. The reason was especially Shostakovich’s first cello concerto and soloist Senja Rummukainen, whose playing extended so deeply and widely that one had to make an effort to be able to throw oneself into the mystery of the moment in Henri Dutilleux’s orchestral work Mystère de l’Instant.”  

”The musicians seemed apparently pleased to have their own second principal cellist Senja Rummukainen as their soloist at Shostakovich’s first cello concerto.”

”There was a tremendous force in the Rummukainen’s playing, which the orchestra nicely supported. From the beginning, the basic blocks of life were present, a contradiction that someone or something forces you to look back, even though you should already be moving forward. Such a twist, described as a struggle between friction and escape, is, in my opinion, at the heart of the concert and conveyed by Rummukainen. The listener understood that it is nothing less than a struggle for life. That’s pretty much one performance.

Although certain passages in the Moderato part of the concerto can be thought of as periods of backwater, the tension will not be interrupted at any point.  Throughout the concert, the listener is forced to wonder – with the kind help of the horn of the soloist as the alter ego – whether the horror in the wigs of the mind is about the breakdown of the psyche or the terror of the system. How is it possible to go on with life? The concert offers many answers to that, one of which is: you have to know how to laugh.

If I had to tell anyone what it means to “live through,” I would urge you to listen to Rummukainen’s and HKO’s presentation.”

Helsingin Sanomat/Sonja Saarikoski 8.5.2021 (translated)

Interview in Rondo Classic Magazine 4/2021 by Santeri Kaipiainen (in Finnish)