"Päivi Hirvonen approaches music with focus and attitude, but then lets it speak for itself. Her music-making is quite intimate but at times incorporates a lot of different layers, expanding herself into an orchestra or a choir."
"The contemporary Finnish folk is very fascinating, but you have to learn to discover them, bit by bit. Just as you also have to go to a three-star restaurant for your very first dinner outdoors: you have to build up your knowledge, your experience slowly and your musical taste buds have to be able to develop little by little. Then you discover, as here, a very refined musical dish that is perfectly capable of proving that good music has no boundaries: this record is contrary to all laws that direct the music landscape today. Päivi Hirvonen will not immediately sell 100,000 copies of this, but those people who purchase the plate will undoubtedly belong to the class of gourmets. Wonderful debut!"
"The fact that "Alku" is instrumented absolutely thin and very unadulterated, you forget in the course of time. Päivi Hirvonen creates so much variety and movement through the lively musical events that one thinks of an ensemble rather than of a solo artist. The focus is on her sometimes archaic sounding and in some moments reminiscent of the Joiken singing. The instruments are used either for voice leading, accompaniment or dialogue.”
"It’s true, the world really is full of magical things, and discovering new music is among the best of them. It’s out there if you look, and sometimes you’ll find a real gem like Alku – The beginning, the first solo album from Finnish fiddler and singer Päivi Hirvonen. It’s beautiful; sometimes gliding, sometimes raw and roaring, mostly her own compositions, with breathtaking, utterly committed performances, assured yet intensely emotional. Music to crack open stone.”