St. John Passion

All these qualities were carefully drawn upon in the performance of the Finnish Baroque Orchestra and the English choir Arcangelo in front of an enthusiastic audience in the sold-out Music Centre.

The qualities of the Finnish Baroque Orchestra in this repertoire are undeniable, and we were once again treated to a well balanced realisation of the individual details as well as the broad outlines.

The ultimate sonorous silver lining of the performance was the celebrated early music vocal ensemble Arcangelo – a part of FiBO’s effort to present international top choirs for its home audience – –.

Samtliga dessa kvaliteter togs nogsamt till vara vid Finländska barockorkesterns och engelska Arcangelokörens framförande inför en begeistrad publik i ett fullsatt Musikhus.

Finländska barockorkesterns kvaliteter i den här repertoaren är odiskutabla och även denna gång fick vi njuta av ett välavvägt förverkligande av såväl de enskilda detaljerna som de stora linjerna.

Den ultimata klangliga guldkanten på det hela sattes dock av hyllade tidig musik-ensemblen Arcangeloskör – ett led i Fibos satsning på att presentera internationella toppkörer för hemmapubliken – –.
Hufvudstadsbladet / Mats Liljeroos 27 February, 2023

The top choir treated the audience to an earth-shattering St John Passion

The Finnish Baroque Orchestra’s (Fibo) project bringing European top choirs to Finland has been important artistically as well as musico-politically. It has introduced us to splendid choirs and shown what can be achieved with a professional choir.

The culmination of the series so far was the performance of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion by the British choir Arcangelo, together with a fine crop of soloists under the baton of Topi Lehtipuu. The audience of the sold out Music Centre was treated to a St. John Passion of a kind that has seldom been heard in these parts of the world.

– – And why not emphasize, when you have singers and musicians like this!
Rondo / Harri Kuusisaari 27 February, 2023

Un'alma innamorata

Sampson and the orchestra embraced this with the dark orchestral and vocal textures at the opening of Un’alma…, the sensitively controlled lyrical violin passage that introduces the aria ‘Quel povere core’ and the perfectly co-ordinated (both for timbre and timing) rapid duet work between violin and voice in ‘Io godo’. The whole of Tra le fiamme – from the rhythmic sonority provided by the basso continuo in the jolly compound-time opening, to the clever summoning of breezes from the two flutes in ‘Voli per l’aria’ and the breathtaking running vocal passages from Sampson – was an exercise in consummate understanding of Handel’s exuberant word painting.

The instrumental items – – were also played with a surety of the style and with élan.
musicOMH / Barry Creasy 19 January, 2023

Here the ensemble made a wonderfully full sound, though the intervening arias were more intimate, the second lightly busy and full of charm, the third featuring some vivid string playing.
Planet Hugill / Robert Hugill 20 January, 2023


Locatelli: Il Labirinto Armonico (CD)

The problem with Locatelli’s music is that it can’t be treated with either fancy music-making or velvet gloves. Ilya Gringolts’ recording with the Finnish Baroque Orchestra does justice to the virtuoso as well as to the elaborate ornamentation. The performance is consistently fresh, inventive, detailed and clearly phrased.
Das Problematische an Locatellis Musik ist, dass ihr weder mit fetzigem Musizieren noch mit Samthandschuhen beizukommen ist. Ilya Gringolts’ Aufnahme mit dem Finnischen Barockorchester wird dem Virtuosen ebenso gerecht wie den kunstvollen Verzierungen. Der Vortrag ist durchgehend frisch, einfallsreich, detailfreudig und klar phrasiert.
Pizzicato / Remy Franck 9 January, 2021

Ilya Gringolts is a virtuoso of the finest calibre. The arpeggios of the “harmonic labyrinth” cascade eloquently and the runs are executed with complete ease. The Finnish Baroque Orchestra is also elite in its field.
Helsingin Sanomat / Jukka Isopuro 13 January, 2021

The orchestra and violin soloist engage in a lively conversation, like an Italian family gathered around a bowl of pasta. Ilya Gringolts’ and the Finnish Baroque Orchestra’s performances were of such high quality that they could withstand even the most rigorous international comparison.
Suomen Kuvalehti / Risto Nordell 29 January, 2021

The concertos contain some of the most outstanding violin fireworks of all time, and when Locatelli writes cadenzas full of shameless shredding, Gringolts puts his foot on the monitor, starts to shred and even the last of his forehead wrinkles transform into a grin. Rarely have I laughed out loud as much as I have while listening to this disc.

The Finnish Baroque Orchestra is left with the role of backing band during this party, but handles the role vividly and with an open, cheerful tone. And yes, the Finnish Baroque Orchestra can tell a joke when the opportunity presents itself. The bass section’s massive opening in the twelfth concerto is one of the most thrilling moments in Finnish period-instrument playing.
Yle’s “New Recordings” programme / Kare Eskola 4 February, 2021

What’s more, the whole thing sounds fabulous. First, there’s the sheer energy and joy radiating out from what is a deliciously luminously stringy sound from the orchestra... 

So now that we’ve got a violinist and a band who can bring off these technically fiendish works with such unqualified charm and beauty, ...I’d like to put in an order for the set’s other nine concertos to be recorded forthwith.
Gramophone / Charlotte Gardner 3/2021

From the opening track onwards, elegant playing launches a programme rich in charm from Ilya Gringols and the Finnish Baroque Orchestra, all on sparkling form.
Gramophone Editor's Choice / Martin Cullingford 3/2021


Sibelius wit period instruments

[I]t may come as a surprise that we had to wait until 2020 to hear a Finnish orchestra perform an all-Sibelius concert on period instruments... [T]he chance to hear a period-instrument all-Sibelius concert was not to be missed at any cost!

In Sibelius’s original theatre score, Elegy served as the overture to the play set in the 16th century Scandinavia. A mood-setter par excellence, the slowly unfolding musical lines of the Elegy were admirably performed by the FiBO strings with Djupsjöbacka. The ensuing silence in the hall spoke volumes more than roaring applauses. 

The FiBO and Djupsjöbacka performance was simply extraordinary, with the music clad in wondrous spectrum of colour. A study of light and shadow, the Paris version of Rakastava was a discovery indeed. 

One of the most thrilling Sibelius events ever, the Sunday noon concert was nothing short of revelation. For this was Sibelius like no other, translucent and clad in raiments of astounding colour spectrum. Hopefully there is more to come in a not-too-distant future.
AIM – Adventures in Music / Jari Kallio 19 October, 2020


The Elements

Finnish Baroque performance has reached maturity. We have developed a collective of musicians schooled in both Baroque and Classical music, who can fully reach the level of international performances. – – The anniversary concert was a nostalgic glance backwards, also with regards to the program. But above all, it was a jubilant and inspired event based on superb expertise, proclaiming the glory of Baroque music.
Helsingin Sanomat / Veijo Murtomäki 26 November, 2019 

The biggest mistake of their three decades was to change name from the funny Sixth floor orchestra to the dull Finnish Baroque Orchestra, but otherwise, the development has been aimed straight upwards. At its best, the orchestra produces music that comes very close to the absolute international top of the genre. Impressive!
Det största misstaget man gjort under tre decennier var att byta namn från skojiga Sjätte våningens orkester till urtrista Finländska barockorkestern, men i övrigt har utvecklingen gått spikrakt uppåt och i sina bästa stunder, som i söndags, presterar man ett spel som kommer mycket nära den absoluta internationella toppen på området. Imponerande!
Hufvudstadsbladet / Mats Liljeroos 26 November, 2019

The timbre was splendid, without being flashy. Bernardini inspired the musicians to a joyful finale. Especially the rhythmic hooks, down to the extra piece, had the audience – and the musicians – laughing.
Hämeen Sanomat / Sakari Hildén 28 November, 2019

From Russia with love

All in all, the night turned out to be enlightening and musically refreshing.
Insgesamt erwies sich der Abend als erhellend und musikalisch erquickend.
General-Anzeiger / Guido Krawinkel 22 August, 2019

Baroque from the Nordic courts

FiBO performed a suite from the opera Cadmus et Hermione so tastefully that the performance reached the level of the best French orchestras of our time!
Helsingin Sanomat / Veijo Murtomäki 31 March, 2019

Helsinki Window (CD)

The Finnish Baroque Orchestra has taken the record production into their own hands, and judging by the quality of the product, it has paid off.
Yle’s “New Recordings” programme / Kare Eskola 12 February, 2019


Dussek: Concerto for two pianos & chamber works CD

Playing reproduction fortepianos, Lubimov and Pashchenko give a dazzling performance with the Finnish Baroque Orchestra. 
The Sunday Times 23 December, 2018

For his recording, Alexei Lubimov has found partners of high standard in Olga Pashchenko and the musicians of the Finnish Baroque Orchestra, who make music devotedly and with a rigorous feeling for the history.
Alexei Lubimov hat sich für die Einspielung mit Olga Pashchenko und den Musikern des „Suomalainen barokkiorchesteri“ – des Finnischen Barockorchesters – hochrangige Partner gesucht, die ganz in seinem Sinne rigoros historisierend musizieren.
Fono Forum / Ingo Harden 18 January, 2019

Sharp-edged playing from the Finnish Baroque Orchestra.
The Guardian / Nicholas Kenyon 27 January, 2019

Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno

One could not ask for a finer, more resilient support for the soloists than the Finnish Baroque Orchestra, guests for the first time at the Nuremberg International Organ Week.
Hier muss man ein bisschen Musikbrei in Kauf nehmen - von dessen Entstehung das erstmals bei der Orgelwoche gastierende Finnish Baroque Orchestra jedoch freizusprechen ist. Einen feineren und federnderen instrumentalen Untergrund könnte man den Solisten kaum bieten, als es das Ensemble aus Helsinki tut.
Süddeutsche Zeitung / Stephan Schwarz-Peters 10 June, 2018

FiBO & Amandine

High-level instrumental performance was heard this year in, among others, the riveting music-making of the Finnish Baroque Orchestra.
Instrumentales auf hohem Niveau war heuer unter anderem vom zupackend musizierenden Finnish Baroque Orchestra zu hören.
nmz – neue musikzeitung / Juan Martin Koch 22 May, 2018

The main Sunday evening concert was given by the impressive Finnish Baroque Orchestra, under the inspirational and collaborative direction of violinist Amandine Beyer (in the Dreieinigkeitskirche, 8pm). / Andrew Benson-Wilson 19 June, 2018

Dido & Aeneas


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