“…extremely gifted and polished…. Petteri plays with natural raw talent and extraordinary technical and musical finesse… his personality infuses his music with a charm and depth especially welcome today. A young master.”
Writing about Petteri’s triumphant debut with Zubin Mehta conducting the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Noam Ben-Ze’ev writes about “the fantastic young Finnish soloist Petteri Iivonen.”
(בנגינה נהדרת של הסולן הפיני הצעיר)
The audience broke into wild and uncustomary applause after the first movement, and leapt to their feet after the third, insisting on four curtain calls for the soloist. Bravo Petteri!
I remember the first time I heard the name “Petteri Iivonen.” It was late in the evening, and my phone rang at home. “Hello Bob,” a dark voice greeted me, before I could say hello myself. “My name is Hagai Shaham… I know a young violinist you must hear right away. He comes from Finland. His name is Petteri Iivonen.” Petteri’s affable personality galvanized as much support for this debut recording as did his exceptional talent with the violin. Listen to the colors Petteri employs in the first movement of the Debussy sonata, especially in the flautando sections. Or the extreme tenderness of the second movement of Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 2. And then compare that with the icy brilliance of the same sonata’s fourth movement after the one-minute mark. Note too the yearning of an entire nation, perhaps the entire Twentieth Century, in the arrival of the Eli Eli theme in tracks twelve and thirteen. (Yarlung Artists commissioned David Lefkowitz to write Eli Eli for Petteri, in honor of Hagai Shaham.) And then evaluate this music in comparison with the titanic Bach Partita, and enjoy the world of color and emotion that Petteri delivers in this final work on his recording.
Bob Attiyeh, producer