guitar solo + 2(II+afl+picc)22(II=bcl)2-2200-01-strings

Duration: 15'

commissioned by Tapiola Sinfonietta and Kymi Sinfonietta

premiers October-November 2017 Petri Kumela, guitar with Kymi Sinfonietta cond. Rumon Gamba and with Tapiola Sinfonietta cond. Taavi Oramo

published by Fennica Gehrman

The Latin word Susurrus refers to rustling or rasping sound – indeed a suitable title for a guitar concerto, the sound world of which consists of whining, swooshing and rattling as well as more usual pitched material. My approach has been both humorous and sincerely lyrical. The former is present for example in the use of plastic rulers, that the musicians get to strum together with the soloist. On the other hand I’ve also wanted to compose beautifully melancholic passages and moments in the border of silence. The concerto’s moods are many.
Susurrus was commissioned by the Tapiola Sinfonietta and Kymi Sinfonietta together, and the premier was in October 2017. I wish to thank the guitarist Petri Kumela for the open-minded co-operation during the compositional process.

5:4 blog May 2019 (Simon Cummings):

One of the most striking works on the programme [of the World Music Days 2019] was Lotta Wennäkoski‘s 2016 guitar concerto Susurrus. It was uncanny the way its material sounded almost like a ‘regular’ concerto but in which pretty much all of the pitch content had been erased. This led to an interesting dual engagement, both with the sounds on their own terms but also kind of ‘through’ them, using our imagination to flesh them out. The overall shape was more-or-less a conventional fast-slow-fast structure, the middle section of which introduced more demonstrable, almost melodic material. Even here, though, Wennäkoski kept the music at a distance, sounding all the more beautiful due to the way it kept slipping through our fingers, preventing us from indulging in it. The work’s brisker concluding section was if anything even more erased than the opening, reduced to a rhythmic framework or outline but one packed with fun and energy.