NEVER heard of Finnish tango? You’re not alone, as you are probably among the majority of people who would never associate the passionate and energetic Argentinean dance with the music of Finland.

However, the concert of the Symphonic Orchestra of the Slovak Radio (SOSR) on May 28, with tenor Harri Kaitila and Mikko Helenius on bandoneon from Finland as soloists, managed to fill the big studio of the Slovak Radio in Bratislava. This success might be attributed to the fact that Kaitila already performed in Bratislava eighteen months earlier with a small Finnish band, Tango Sonorte. Slovak tango connoisseurs were also well represented in the audience.

Other soloists apart from Kaitila and Helenius included Miriam Rodriguez Brüllová on guitar and Marián Svetlík on violin. The SOSR was conducted by Mario Košik and the whole concert was broadcast live on Slovak Radio.

The sound of a Finnish tenor, originally trained as an operatic tenor, singing with a whole symphonic orchestra was much different from the sound of his fronting a small tango band.

“I normally sing with smaller orchestras, but I hope that this concert with the SOSR in Bratislava brings us more concerts with big orchestras in the future, too,” Kaitila told The Slovak Spectator.
As for how he sees the difference between Argentinean and Finnish tango, Kaitila explained that Argentinean tangos have more dramatic elements in the lyrics and in their rhythm as well.