My favorite part of this tour has to be the songs by Saariaho [Quatres instants], which were sung fantastically by Karita Mattila. It is both a musical moment and, oddly enough, a visual one too, that will live on in my memory.
These songs were new to us. We had a rehearsal in L.A. in October, then two weeks later, a rehearsal in Paris. To watch Karita and Esa-Pekka interact was delightful. They spoke Finnish to each other, laughing like two friends who just love the opportunity to work together.
The performance at the Barbican felt electric from the start - partly because of the two rehearsals weeks apart, and partly because of Karita: she looked stunning and has a presence on stage that takes your breath away.