Author Topic: The Snowshoed Sibelius  (Read 166445 times)

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Don

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2007, 09:17:42 AM »
Thank you for bringing his piano music to my attention, Harry. Up 'till now I've not given it a second thought.

Would like to remedy that.


Then you need Olli Mustone's Ondine disc (no. 1014).  He takes good music and makes it sound wonderful.

karlhenning

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2007, 09:22:07 AM »
Then you need Olli Mustone's Ondine disc (no. 1014).  He takes good music and makes it sound wonderful.

A query awaits you here, Don.

Harry

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2007, 09:28:33 AM »
Then you need Olli Mustone's Ondine disc (no. 1014).  He takes good music and makes it sound wonderful.

Erik T on BIS also knows how to handle Sibelius's piano music, and he is a world wide expert in this field. :)

Don

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2007, 09:36:18 AM »
A query awaits you here, Don.

Query was answered.

Don

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2007, 09:38:40 AM »
Erik T on BIS also knows how to handle Sibelius's piano music, and he is a world wide expert in this field. :)


Have you heard the Mustonen disc?  What's your opinion?

karlhenning

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2007, 09:38:56 AM »
Kiitos, Don!

Harry

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2007, 09:46:24 AM »
Have you heard the Mustonen disc?  What's your opinion?

Of course I heard it, and its good, but I rate my Erik T recordings as high Don. :)

lukeottevanger

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2007, 09:48:43 AM »
Luonnotar and Tapiola are both stunning masterpieces, as good as the very best parts of his very best symphonies - in other words, they are right at the top of his output, IMO. I couldn't agree more that the more recordings one has of either of these pieces the better.

Don

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2007, 09:59:46 AM »
Of course I heard it, and its good, but I rate my Erik T recordings as high Don. :)

Fair enough.

Offline Siedler

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2007, 11:45:12 AM »
Luonnotar is indeed a gorgeous song. Que, I can recommend Isokoski's recording (with Segerstram and HPO), it's wonderfully sung by Isokoski. I heard even better is Taru Valjakka's interpretation (with Bournemouth Orchestra under Berglund's baton), but have not heard it.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2007, 12:53:52 PM »
Good news is, that the Sibelius component of that has been reissued on this Gemini two-fer.

That is VERY good news. I've heard a few versions of Luonnotar but this one is my favourite.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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    probably something somebody somewhere is snickering at...wait, Schoenberg! Definitely Schoenberg! (And, let's see, does he have a disciple or two...)...
Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2007, 06:05:33 PM »
Then you need Olli Mustone's Ondine disc (no. 1014).  He takes good music and makes it sound wonderful.

Thanks for the recommendation, Don. Wouldn't mind at all adding another Ondine disc to my collection, worthy little label that it is.

Harry, I shall heed your recommendation, too!


The Jupiter and Saturn fingers are square; the ring, or Apollo, and little, or Mercury, fingers are spatula, flat and broad. The Saturn finger is full of knots. The force of the little finger on both hands is tremendous; the knuckle seems as if made of iron. -- Palmist Anne Brewster on Liszt's hands

lukeottevanger

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2007, 12:44:01 AM »
My introduction to Luonnotar was during a lecture on Sibelius by Robin Holloway. Before he played it he mentioned that for whatever reason the performance he was going to play was a particularly special one that really got to the heart of the piece more than any other. However, I couldn't hear him very well - or I wasn't paying much attention! ::) - and I missed both the reason Holloway thought this recording so special and the name of the performer; all I noticed was that it was on LP. However, as soon as the piece started I was absolutely entranced - I'd never heard anything like it. I've eagerly heard quite a few recordings since then, but I must be honest, none of them quite have the extra something that the recording Holloway played us had. Maybe I am imagining it, making more of my memory of the recording than it actually deserves; perhaps the effect was more down to the fact that this was the first time I'd heard this beautiful piece, and it was still a fresh surprise for me. Nevertheless, I'd love to know what it was I was hearing that day, and if it was possible to track down a copy for myself...

Offline Scott

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2007, 01:18:44 PM »
This is my review at Amazon.com at
http://www.amazon.com/Sibelius-Early-Years-Maturity-Silence/dp/B000M2EBWO/

A Riveting Two-Part Documentary about Sibelius and His Music

Christopher Nupen is one of the most creative and talented of the video documentarians of the classical music world. It all began many years ago when he made the wonderful film about du Pré, Barenboim, Perlman, Zukerman and Mehta -- the so-called 'Israeli Mafia.' That film has never gone out of style and was brought out on DVD a few years ago, made available for a new generation of viewers. This film, also originally on VHS, was made in the 1980s and is just now coming out on DVD. The transfer, I must say, is simply magnificent; I certainly would not have known it was originally on VHS if I hadn't seen it in its original form. The visuals are crisp, the sound excellent.

The subject is the life and, more important, the music of Jean Sibelius and the two sections are 'The Early Years' and 'Maturity and Silence.' Nupen, who wrote, directed and narrates the film, takes us through the important biographical details of the composer's life, including his struggle in his thirties with alcoholism on which he conquered only after he had a growth removed from his throat and was told that drinking and smoking would aggravate it and possibly hasten its return, and of the thirty year silence during which he strove to complete an Eighth Symphony but which he finally consigned to flames.

The visuals comprise many gorgeous views of the fields, forests and lakes of Sibelius's Finland, as well as a fascinating black-and-white silent film of the elderly Sibelius. There are also many views of photographs and paintings of the composer and his wife, as well as visits to Ainola, the country home where he and wife Aino lived for over fifty years.

There are some marvelously played and photographed excerpts from all but one of his symphonies -- the Sixth, for whatever reason, is mentioned but none of its music played -- all done by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra with Vladimir Ashkenazy, a real Sibelian, conducting. There is also excerpts from Finlandia, Kullervo, the Karelia Suite and Tapiola by the same artists as well as a sizable excerpt from the Violin Concerto with Boris Belkin, violin. There are a couple of songs (in Swedish, as most of Sibelius's songs were) sung by Elisabeth Söderström. The first, with orchestral accompaniment, is 'Since then I have questioned no further', and the second, with Ashkenazy playing the piano accompaniment, the intensely dramatic 'Jubal.'

There is a clip of Sibelius's first composition, 'Water Drops', for two violins, written at age 11. The film begins and ends with an excerpt from a recording, made in 1939, of Sibelius conducting his 'Andante festivo.'

This is a brilliant and riveting account, aided by Nupen's beautifully written narration, of the artistic life of one of the twentieth century's great composers and one hopes that it will again be seen widely, as it was originally when shown on television.

Although Amazon doesn't indicate it, this DVD is in a format that can be played worldwide. Sound is LPCM Stereo, narration is in English, subtitles are in German, Spanish, French and Italian. Total time (which includes a couple of clips about other Nupen films) is 151 minutes; the Sibelius films run just over 100 mins.

Strongly recommended.

Scott Morrison
Without music, life would be a mistake. -- Nietzsche

DavidW

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2007, 05:29:52 AM »
Alright George, I hope you read this thread because I decided to post my thoughts here:

I currently have three recordings of Sibelius' Sixth Symphony: Bernstein, Blomstedt, and Segerstam.

I'm focusing on the finale, which is where I think these recordings really diverge, and is the heart of the symphony for me:

What I noticed is that Bernstein was uniformly faster than both conductors.  However I think that the finale has a delicate contrast of joy and despair that is lost in the Bernstein recording.  Thanks to the poor quality of the recording the dynamic range sounds squashed, and in combination with the overly zippy tempos, I feel that we never see the manic-depressive mood swings portrayed like we do in Blomstedt and Segerstam.

I think that the slow tempos are essential to really hear the emotional complexity of the Sixth, but I should say that Hurwitz doesn't think so, he think it should be played fast like Bernstein.  George, how does Ashkenazy play it?  I'm wondering if you're in Hurwitz' camp and find Blomstedt's slower tempos distasteful.

And for other forumites, how do you like the finale in the Sixth to be taken?

George, overall my favorite is Segerstam, he's just amazing.  His recording of this symphony just floors me! :)

Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #35 on: April 28, 2007, 05:36:49 AM »
Nice to have you back Dave !
What are you doing now?

Offline Bogey

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2007, 05:38:14 AM »
Alright George, I hope you read this thread because I decided to post my thoughts here:

I currently have three recordings of Sibelius' Sixth Symphony: Bernstein, Blomstedt, and Segerstam.

I'm focusing on the finale, which is where I think these recordings really diverge, and is the heart of the symphony for me:

What I noticed is that Bernstein was uniformly faster than both conductors.  However I think that the finale has a delicate contrast of joy and despair that is lost in the Bernstein recording.  Thanks to the poor quality of the recording the dynamic range sounds squashed, and in combination with the overly zippy tempos, I feel that we never see the manic-depressive mood swings portrayed like we do in Blomstedt and Segerstam.

I think that the slow tempos are essential to really hear the emotional complexity of the Sixth, but I should say that Hurwitz doesn't think so, he think it should be played fast like Bernstein.  George, how does Ashkenazy play it?  I'm wondering if you're in Hurwitz' camp and find Blomstedt's slower tempos distasteful.

And for other forumites, how do you like the finale in the Sixth to be taken?

George, overall my favorite is Segerstam, he's just amazing.  His recording of this symphony just floors me! :)

George,
Thanks to David Ross and MOG I have the Segerstam cycle as well and have not felt compelled to look any further in the "near" future for another set, though unlike David I have nothing to compare it to.  In short I am very satisfied with what I have. 

However, there is that Maazel/Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra set that I would not mind having after various samplings. ;D
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

DavidW

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #37 on: April 28, 2007, 05:56:37 AM »
Nice to have you back Dave !
What are you doing now?

Thanks! :)

Well after several months of wondering what the hell I want to do with my life, I realized that I still like physics, I just hated grad school.  So I've been applying for teaching positions.  I have an interview on Tuesday, they're paying to fly me out and it should be neat.

Offline edward

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2007, 06:03:07 AM »
Thanks! :)

Well after several months of wondering what the hell I want to do with my life, I realized that I still like physics, I just hated grad school.  So I've been applying for teaching positions.  I have an interview on Tuesday, they're paying to fly me out and it should be neat.
Good luck.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2007, 06:05:17 AM by edward »
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

DavidW

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2007, 06:07:24 AM »

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