“Lilli Paasikivi practically stole the show. She was well-nigh perfect.”
(The New York Sun)
Lilli Paasikivi ranks amongst the world’s leading interpreters of the Mahler song-cycles and symphonies. Appearances have included Das Lied von der Erde and Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Salonen); Symphony No.2 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (Oramo) and NHK Symphony Orchestra (Paavo Järvi); Symphony No.3 with the London Symphony Orchestra (Paavo Järvi); Symphony No.8 with the Berliner Philharmoniker (Rattle); Kindertotenlieder with the New World Symphony (Tilson Thomas); and Das Lied von der Erde with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Elder). She made her debut with the New York Philharmonic (Maazel) in the world-premiere of Rodion Shchedrin’s The Enchanted Wanderer returning for Mahler’s Symphony No.2 and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem both under Alan Gilbert.
Since making her debut with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker as Fricka in the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, Wagnerian roles have become central to Lilli Paasikivi’s work on stage with notable performances at La Monnaie as Brangäne, at Staatsoper Hamburg as Fricka and at Oper Frankfurt as Kundry. This season she sings Fricka in Der Ring des Nibelungen at Finnish National under the baton of Susanna Mälkki.
“Lilli Paasikivi is one of the leading interpreters of the Mahler song-cycles and symphonies, and it was a delight to witness her performance with QSO – she directed her gaze across the entire hall, enunciating clearly and engaging the audience with her movements and gestures.”
(Backstreet Brisbane, November 2018)
“Lilli Paasikivi, singing with burnished warmth as [Kullervo’s] Sister.”
(John Allison, Opera Magazine, July 2017)
“… the mezzo soloist in the central scena for Kullervo and his sister/lover is the thrilling Lilli Paasikivi”
(The Guardian, Feb 2017)
“In the final, monumental song, Der Abschied (the farewell), her performance rose gradually in intensity, weaving in and out of the complex yet transparent orchestration, until the extraordinary peroration, Allüberall und ewig blauen licht die Fernen!; that passage which famously Kathleen Ferrier couldn’t sing without breaking down in tears. Well, Paasikivi didn’t break down, but there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience at the end of the concert. It was unspeakably moving, one of the finest performances of this wonderful piece that I have ever heard.”
(Australian Stage, July 2016)
“Lilli Paasikivi as the Finnish Farmer’s wife threatened, with crunching consonants — “Rämäksi reen rekutan!” – to chop up Kullervo’s sleigh; but then flexed the giant wind sail that is her warm mezzo-soprano voice in the farewell song.”
(Jan Brachmann, Berliner Zeitung, March 2014)
“Lilli Paasikivi was the breathtaking mezzo, beautiful in tone and infinitely noble of utterance.”
(Tim Ashley, The Guardian, January 2013)
“On retrouve le mezzo Lilli Paasikivi, dont la ligne vocale somptueusement menée bénéficie d’une riche expressivité.”
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