Author Topic: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony  (Read 2861 times)

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greg

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2008, 11:10:37 AM »
The theme of the finale of the 2nd...... but taken in small doses, of course.  8)
Not familar enough with the others to make any more comments, though.

Mark G. Simon

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2008, 11:33:19 AM »
That's supposed to be the La Paz Youth Orchestra.

Sounds more like La Guerra.

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2008, 11:47:33 AM »
only slightly ruined by being used as the startup music of Sibelius notation software!

Better that than Finlandia . . . (though you could always switch to Finale, which at least doesn't play any music on startup - not even a finale).
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eyeresist

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2008, 06:47:55 PM »
That moment at the beginning of the 2nd's finale, when the low brass are grinding away, and the music seems to hang in the air like a giant rotating wheel. I've only heard Berglund get this right.

Offline Bogey

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2008, 07:42:16 PM »
First movement of the 1st.
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Greta

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2008, 09:23:22 PM »
Wow, so many to name, and I agree with many you guys have mentioned.

More:

7th:

- a few min in, beginning at the end of the pastoral section, the rising figure leading to that briefly quicker syncopated and chromatic statement, then the recession and subsequent harmonic rise to the first glowing major trombone statement where the orchestra arrives at this endless radiant 9th chord...totally awe-inspiring

6th:

- The whole 1st mvmt! But especially the bit halfway through where the orchestra arrives at the merry syncopated dance, with the pizz strings and timpani
- Last mvmt, the main dramatic motif

3rd:

-1st mvmt - especially the latter middle, which seems very influenced by folk melodies

4th:

- the very mysterious ominous opening, in the low strings

1st:

- the opening motif of the Scherzo, and the way he has lines echo each other among sections throughout
- the finale - the Russian like middle section, and final couple of minutes

2nd:

-so many spots - but especially the emotional hymnlike middle of the Andante
-the unique long bass pizzicato opening the Andante
-the very opening of the symphony, which always seemed rather Beethovenian 6th  to me, and is I think my favorite opening by far of any of his symphonies
-the way he features all sections at certain moments throughout
-of course, the lead up to the end of the 3rd mvmt into the 4th, and then the 2nd arrival, where the strings take the high octave in the last mvmt
-the melodies in the last mvmt, the very, very expressive lines in the strings

5th:

- the whole thing? :D
- okay, but especially the last mvmt, preferably taken with very, very broad tempos, and in the last mvmt..
- absolute favorite moment, maybe in any of his works: the overwhelming modulation at the big statement of the swan theme, that combination of the "swan" line and the woodwinds' soaring lines while the high strings tremelo away on sustained notes
- the romantic, yearning dark theme in the strings in the middle section - and the way he ends that statement in major, the last few notes, to setup the return to the "swan" theme
- the swells at the end of the mvmt, the way you think it has reached the climax but not...quite...and then...it finally does...
- the surprising ending (which threw me for a loop the first time I heard it)

I have to count Kullervo too, since it is often called a symphony..

Kullervo:

- in general, the sweeping themes, and strong basis in Finnish folk melodies
- 1st mvmt, change from minor to major/modulation about 5-6 min in
3rd mvmt:
- entrance of the choir! and the way he sets the text
- use of 5/4 meter, and the irregular accents
- the long orchestral interlude in the middle, with the groovy low brass ostinato
- the 4th mvmt - about 3-4 min in, the fanfare calls, first in the low brass, then horns and finally trumpets
- the long dramatic arc of the last mvmt

paulb

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #26 on: February 29, 2008, 08:07:47 AM »


Kullervo:

- in general, the sweeping themes, and strong basis in Finnish folk melodies
- 1st mvmt, change from minor to major/modulation about 5-6 min in
3rd mvmt:
- entrance of the choir! and the way he sets the text
- use of 5/4 meter, and the irregular accents
- the long orchestral interlude in the middle, with the groovy low brass ostinato
- the 4th mvmt - about 3-4 min in, the fanfare calls, first in the low brass, then horns and finally trumpets
- the long dramatic arc of the last mvmt

the Kullervo is really the only sym I like from Sibelius.
i tried the 6th as per Karl, and went into the 1st, didn't make it through either.
Once was a  Sibeliusian, but not anymore :-X

karlhenning

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #27 on: February 29, 2008, 08:10:17 AM »
6th:

- The whole 1st mvmt!

Yes!  But then, I hasten to add, the whole 3rd movement!  :)

Offline J. Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #28 on: February 29, 2008, 08:31:23 AM »
Excellent favourites you guys have come up with. I can only say - symphonies 3-7, with 6 still awaiting cracking...  :-[  (Btw - I like Luke's observations about Sibelius' formal subtlety vs. Mahler's.)
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Joe Barron

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #29 on: February 29, 2008, 10:54:45 AM »
The whole tone descent in the Fourth, and the opening to the Finale of the fifth, just as the ostinato begins to kick in.

Offline Sef

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #30 on: February 29, 2008, 04:54:29 PM »
Too many to mention - enough to say that when the 2008-9 CSO season was published recently I was like a kid in a sweet shop (or candy store) with both Sibelius 4 and 5 on the menu. 5 with Beethoven VC, and 4 with Shostakovish 5 - OMG!
"Do you think that I could have composed what I have composed, do you think that one can write a single note with life in it if one sits there and pities oneself?"

Online Brian

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #31 on: February 29, 2008, 09:49:37 PM »
- absolute favorite moment, maybe in any of his works: the overwhelming modulation at the big statement of the swan theme, that combination of the "swan" line and the woodwinds' soaring lines while the high strings tremelo away on sustained notes
Yes!

- the surprising ending (which threw me for a loop the first time I heard it)
Must admit, the surprise ending and I are not yet friends. I feel like it sort of "snatches away" the glowing majesty of the ending which is in the middle of sending me into a rapturous state...

Also: 5th, second movement, the very first pizzicato notes. There is so much feeling in them...
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 09:51:27 PM by Brian »

Greta

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #32 on: February 29, 2008, 10:13:36 PM »
Still makes me mad, Brian, that I couldn't make it up to hear that performance of the 5th in December...but amazingly, there will be another chance, I saw it's on the new season for Houston, in the coming fall.  ;)

Symphonien

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #33 on: March 01, 2008, 02:57:35 AM »
Must admit, the surprise ending and I are not yet friends. I feel like it sort of "snatches away" the glowing majesty of the ending which is in the middle of sending me into a rapturous state...

The first time I heard that, I was thinking "This is just stupid", but by the time it got to the final chord I thought "No wait, that's genius!". As Debussy once said, "Music is the silence between the notes." ;)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #34 on: March 01, 2008, 04:01:18 PM »
last few minutes of Symphony 3 and No 2, opening of Symphony 4 and 5.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

eyeresist

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2008, 05:48:38 PM »
(Btw - I like Luke's observations about Sibelius' formal subtlety vs. Mahler's.)
Me too. Mahler's lack of discipline >:D is still a sticking point for me. On the other hand, I still wish Sibelius's symphonies were longer!


Best version I've heard of the closing chords of the 5th is, surprisingly, Barbirolli/EMI. I've also heard Ashkenazy, Berglund, Collins, Maazel, Rattle, Schmidt. With Barbirolli the intervals sounded rhythmic rather than random.

Michel

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2008, 11:04:42 AM »
Climax in 4th symphony 3rd mov no doubt.

Online SymphonicAddict

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2017, 07:54:05 PM »
I describe this symphony as 'a sun beam on a Sunday morning on the Finnish snowy landscape' (I know, it's highly subjective opinion). I mean the Symphony No. 5 in E-flat major (even very appropriate tonality, with a nature heroism): it's an friendly show of the singular beauty of Finland, full of mystical essence. I think all the whole symphony has great and favorite moments!!

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2017, 05:26:38 AM »
Nice, thanks.
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Offline Alberich

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Re: Favorite moments in a Sibelius symphony
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2017, 06:30:10 AM »
- the great string tune at the end of the second movement, Second Symphony

This. I believe Sibelius nicknamed this theme as "Christus". It's certainly a religious-like experience to be listening to it (or Sibelius in general).
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