Author Topic: The Snowshoed Sibelius  (Read 192435 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2420 on: February 03, 2018, 10:29:16 AM »
As announced above I got one of the Naxos disks with Segerstam. They seem a good cheap option to get the lesser known stuff and apparently also more complete as the more often recorded suites, i.e. including vocal pieces. As I have nothing to compare them with, they seem fine. Although I have to admit that the music sounds mostly rather forgettable to me.

On my "mini-binge" the only pieces I had not really heard before (I had listened a little on youtube) that seem worth the effort are Luonnotar, Pohjola's daughter and the Okeanides. The "nightride" is at least 5 minutes too long; shorter pieces like "The dryad" and "The Bard" hardly seem to get going in the first place. But compared to the incidental music even the in my ears weaker tone poems still sound fairly "Sibelian" if not as distinctive as the symphonies or even the early En Saga.

The King Christian music is not bad but nothing all that memorable either and it is also not surprising that Valse triste is by far the best known bit of the "Kuolema" music. I guess the only two things I will probably get in the future to close the gaps are the Pelleas & Melisande and Tempest incidental music as they seem by far the most famous and more frequently recorded.


I like The Bard. It is, indeed, short but I find it to be an eloquent and poetic work.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Jo498

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2421 on: February 03, 2018, 11:49:12 AM »
"The bard" (I actually had this before) is not bad, I just did not find it all that memorable. Whereas the rather early Lemminkäinen-Suite seems almost underrated to me. Very often we get only the "Swan" which is a nice mood piece but I think it makes more sense in the context with the more dramatic pieces (like L in Tuonela).
I don't actively dislike the stuff on the incidental music disk pictured above. But it seems that Sibelius churned out tons of not terribly distinctive music before he found his style or even parallel to the more important pieces. Then he was burned out and did not manage to complete the 8th symphony, a pity.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2422 on: February 04, 2018, 12:44:38 AM »
"The bard" (I actually had this before) is not bad, I just did not find it all that memorable. Whereas the rather early Lemminkäinen-Suite seems almost underrated to me. Very often we get only the "Swan" which is a nice mood piece but I think it makes more sense in the context with the more dramatic pieces (like L in Tuonela).
I don't actively dislike the stuff on the incidental music disk pictured above. But it seems that Sibelius churned out tons of not terribly distinctive music before he found his style or even parallel to the more important pieces. Then he was burned out and did not manage to complete the 8th symphony, a pity.

Very much agree with you about the Lemminkainen Suite which I prefer, for example, to the First Symphony. L in Tuonela is my favourite section, especially in Thomas Jensen's very atmospheric Danish RSO recording - a revelation for me when I bought the old Decca Eclipse LP in my youth.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2423 on: February 05, 2018, 03:29:00 AM »
I've been listening to Barbirolli's Halle recording of Symphony 2 over the past few days - it is my favourite recording of this symphony. It's accompanied by a most poetic account of 'The Swan of Tuonela' notwithstanding Sir John humming along to it. What a shame that he never recorded the complete 'Four Legends for Orchestra' or 'Tapiola' for that matter.

« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 03:35:07 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2424 on: March 09, 2018, 12:43:01 PM »


http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2009/05/survey-of-sibelius-cycles.html

Sibelius survey updated w/Elder -- assuming that he'll finish what is 5/7 done. Also added global links.





Offline André

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2426 on: April 17, 2018, 02:56:22 AM »
Thanks for the article, Jens. I have Jansons’ previous Concertgebouw version, which you rightly pan. A disappointing outing  where the conductor gets lost in the thickets. Like you, my favourite is Barbirolli’s volcanic RPO version (better played than in Manchester). I also furiously enjoy Szell’s versions (live or commercial) as well as Monteux’. Considering Haitink’s success with the RVW symphonies, it’s strange that he NEVER recorded a symphony by Sibelius. I would have thought him a good fit for such an undertaking.

That being said, there should be an embargo on recordings of the 2nd, though  >:D. It’s like yet another recording of the Pastoral or the Unfinished (yawn).

Offline Biffo

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2427 on: April 17, 2018, 03:21:59 AM »
Thanks for the article, Jens. I have Jansons’ previous Concertgebouw version, which you rightly pan. A disappointing outing  where the conductor gets lost in the thickets. Like you, my favourite is Barbirolli’s volcanic RPO version (better played than in Manchester). I also furiously enjoy Szell’s versions (live or commercial) as well as Monteux’. Considering Haitink’s success with the RVW symphonies, it’s strange that he NEVER recorded a symphony by Sibelius. I would have thought him a good fit for such an undertaking.

That being said, there should be an embargo on recordings of the 2nd, though  >:D. It’s like yet another recording of the Pastoral or the Unfinished (yawn).

I don't think there should be an embargo on any work - no one forces you to listen to it.

The first Sibelius symphony I heard was No 1 (Maazel/VPO) followed by No 2 (Barbirolli/Halle). The first I heard live was No 2 (Kletzki/CBSO) and it was a wonderful experience. After that I was hooked on Sibelius. A performance (live or recorded) could very well lead a beginner into the rest of Sibelius.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2428 on: April 17, 2018, 03:50:43 AM »
That being said, there should be an embargo on recordings of the 2nd, though  >:D. It’s like yet another recording of the Pastoral or the Unfinished (yawn).

 :D Almost.  Or how about the new Decca Gold label starting with LvB 5 & 7?! What a symbol of "same-old-same-oldness"!

I don't think there should be an embargo on any work - no one forces you to listen to it.


Figure of speech that was, I suppose.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2429 on: April 17, 2018, 11:17:27 PM »
Thanks for the article, Jens. I have Jansons’ previous Concertgebouw version, which you rightly pan. A disappointing outing  where the conductor gets lost in the thickets. Like you, my favourite is Barbirolli’s volcanic RPO version (better played than in Manchester). I also furiously enjoy Szell’s versions (live or commercial) as well as Monteux’. Considering Haitink’s success with the RVW symphonies, it’s strange that he NEVER recorded a symphony by Sibelius. I would have thought him a good fit for such an undertaking.

That being said, there should be an embargo on recordings of the 2nd, though  >:D. It’s like yet another recording of the Pastoral or the Unfinished (yawn).

of those, Monteux I don't have. Listened to the Szell/RCO (is there another?) one, as well, as part of the internal comparison. I suppose Haitink not having recorded (or much/at all performed) J.S. suggests that he doesn't feel him... in which case it's good he didn't record any.  ;D
I wonder how Thielemann would sound in Sibelius, if he fell in love with the composer and had an orchestra that also dug that music. But that's a pipe-dream.

Offline André

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2430 on: April 18, 2018, 03:41:23 AM »
of those, Monteux I don't have. Listened to the Szell/RCO (is there another?) one, as well, as part of the internal comparison. I suppose Haitink not having recorded (or much/at all performed) J.S. suggests that he doesn't feel him... in which case it's good he didn't record any.  ;D
I wonder how Thielemann would sound in Sibelius, if he fell in love with the composer and had an orchestra that also dug that music. But that's a pipe-dream.



A sizzling concert performance with the clevelanders, one year before he died.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2431 on: April 18, 2018, 04:57:09 AM »


A sizzling concert performance with the clevelanders, one year before he died.

Actually it was two months before his death. He died July 30, 1970; the concert was on May 22, 1970.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline André

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2432 on: April 18, 2018, 05:00:09 AM »
I thought it was 1971, but of course you’re right. You’d never think of any physical/medical issues when listening to this pair of discs.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2433 on: April 18, 2018, 05:17:28 AM »
I thought it was 1971, but of course you’re right. You’d never think of any physical/medical issues when listening to this pair of discs.

Yes, its remarkable. He was dying at this point (he never conducted in Cleveland again; his last concert was in Alaska on the trip back from the Asian tour) but he still managed to produce one of the great Sibelius Seconds.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"