Author Topic: The Snowshoed Sibelius  (Read 185766 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).

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