“A wonderful feeling of peace filled the Tapiola Hall. It was largely coming from the clarinet of Harri Mäki, who enchanted us with the warm beauty of his phrasing. Harri Mäki made Mozart’s melodies sing and breathe with a plasticity that one could only wish for. His clarinet’s round, smoothly cheerful sound bent itself sensitively to nuances. Here he used the tone of the different registers of clarinet to his supreme advantage.
Mozart’s emotional impulses arose spontaneously and when appropriate with virtuoso gestures. Noble gentleness turned into hilarious joyfulness and humour, and happily pulsating rhythmic mischief turned to naturally serene introspection.”
Hannu Ilari Lampila
“..He is an unique link in the chain that allows Finland to be called the land of clarinetists…”
“…Harri Mäki’s version of Crusell’s masterpiece, the Concerto in f minor, was not played in the usual way, but rather with a chatty hedonism and hilarious virtuosity, in a manner completely irresistible. Mäki is a musician of god’s grace…The man is a musician seldom seen, with a technical and interpretational capacity that is not one bit behind the world’s elite. His Crusell playing not only tickles the ear, but also reflects the entire expressive spectrum. Every virtuoso trick you could dream of is there with all the emotion on this round earth, spiked with the necessary edge of unpredictable madness.
As in the first movement’s solo cadenza: completely crazy, but with a liberating improvisational quality that justified even more insane solutions….”
“…Harri Mäki makes music in such an intense manner, that as the Solo Clarinetist of Tapiola Sinfonietta he can steal the attention from the actual soloist…Harri Mäki creates a good feeling with his ability to communicate music with focus and presence…”
“ Bubbling fast runs, beautifully built clarinet episodes, spiritual and serene pacing, sovereign management in the strength and colour of the sound- there you have the material for an almost perfect interpretation. “
“ Tapiola Sinfonietta’s solo clarinetist Harri Mäki captivated the audience already according the applause meter. As the soloist in the Mozart concerto he seems to like music more than himself. Not a bad cue for other professional soloists… Harri Mäki also found the most fragile and extremely quiet values. And then we heard that Mozartian moonglow.”
“ Harri Mäki’s technical virtuosity, a broad spectrum of tonal colours and clear delivery of the musical form, did not only inspire me but evidently also the other players.”
“ This time the role of the soloist was taken by the orchestra’s clarinetist Harri Mäki. It was a role that this member of the artistic director-trio took on powerfully in his usual manner. In the cadenza of Crusell’s f-minor concerto there was so much power that the audience sitting in the realms of a calm classical atmosphere were almost falling from their seats. Just when you had figured out that Mäki’s sound was not wooden but particularly loud and audible, he introduced his other extreme: in the second movement of the concerto he certainly won the Finnish national record of pianissimo playing in the clarinet catagory.
The rondo movement was a celebration of virtuosity, but the best part was that the virtuosity was not on the forefront, and Mäki made the wildest passages clearly defined music. “
“ Tapiola Sinfonietta’s clarinetist Harri Mäki … is a wonderful musician, who never leaves a half-hearted effort behind. His realisation of the solo part was musical, spontaneous, and sentimental: in every way communicative and in every way enjoyable.”
“ Harri Mäki, a member of the clarinetist elite, can engage your attention with shortest of passages. In Sibelius’ First Symphony he took the stage with his improvisatory beginning solo.”
Serenades in B flat, K361 (Gran partita) & in D, K100
“….This new recording from the excellent wind contingent of the Tapiola Sinfonietta (with a specially alluring, liquid-toned first clarinet) also has a lot going for it, with vital, imaginative phrasing and a happy balance between euphonious blend and tangy individuality.”
BBC Music Magazine
“…Mäki tells a story through his clarinet. His beautiful sound blends into colors, melodies, rhythmic exchanges with the orchestra, and silences….”
“Clarinetist Harri Mäki made an impression with his great musicality. He can get a warm soft sound from his instrument. It is limpidly round and sensual. When his technical skills come forward, the end result is extremely enjoyable. His interpretations of the pieces were daringly colourful and sometimes even wild.”
“Harri Mäki’s clarinet was pulsating and weaving through at a dizzying pace, finally arriving excitedly at the cadenza’s surprise jumps, his clarinet having a hide and seek with itself.”
“…Amilcare Ponchielli’s ”Il Convegno” did not really require any deep musings from the audience. Neidich’s and his equal partner Harri Mäki’s meeting with this joyous Italian potpourri created such a happy atmosphere that it snatched along not only the listeners, but also Tapiola Sinfonietta led by Hannu Lintu….”
Helsingin Sanomat (HS)
“ Mäki’s interpretative scale is nuanced and wide and his playing has a Kriikku-like manner, always seemingly easy and fun. His technique was working perfectly and became charming to listen to. The most astounding sensations were given in the charming and very streamlined Andante pastorale’s humming pianissimos.”
“ In the Fantasiestücke op. 73 Clarinetist Harri Mäki was on precisely the same wavelength with Melnikov’s entrancing music-making.”
“ Tapiola Sinfonietta’s clarinet virtuoso Harri Mäki made the two movements of Mozart’s clarinet quintet the highlight of the concert. His playing had joyously bubbling musicality and noble beauty…”
“…and as gilding on top of it all, we had Harri Mäki’s phenomenal playing in Mozart’s clarinet concerto…He lived the solo part with endlessly rich colour registers with his whole body and its essence…Mäki is capable of an unusually warm and noble sound on his clarinet…”
“…the very strong and immediate impact that the astonishing timbral beauty extracted by the Finnish virtuoso Harri Mäki, that his boxwood instrument only reinforced…”
Levante (El Mercantil Valenciano)
“…the definitely the best part of the evening was the performance of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet. Harri Mäki as it’s soloist was in top form and could fill Brahms’s last composition with full spectrum of unbelievably internalised aesthetics.
Enchantingly beautiful clarinet sound was complimented by the string quartet’s first class musicianship, which was a great joy to follow throughout the piece”