Author Topic: The Snowshoed Sibelius  (Read 349632 times)

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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2840 on: April 29, 2021, 02:23:26 PM »
OT
Some years ago my wife (an audiologist) arranged an emergency hearing test for me as I 'obviously' had a serious hearing problem because I 'never responded' to anything she said. Unfortunately the test revealed that I had the hearing of a 20 year old - this was very embarrassing.
Exactly the same thing happened to me, only I only did it to humour people as I knew my hearing was fine (I'm a bird watcher (and listener) and I can still hear all the little tiny squeaky notes from Australian spp such as Fairy-wrens, Thornbills &c).

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2841 on: April 30, 2021, 02:54:18 AM »
Exactly the same thing happened to me, only I only did it to humour people as I knew my hearing was fine (I'm a bird watcher (and listener) and I can still hear all the little tiny squeaky notes from Australian spp such as Fairy-wrens, Thornbills &c).
I'd be curious to know (perhaps should start a new thread called "Your hearing"?) whether or not our older members use things like ear buds and their listening habits?  In any event, good to hear that yours and Jeffrey's hearing is in good shape.  There's also the difference between listening and hearing and how closely one listens to things, but....back to Sibelius!

PD

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2842 on: May 03, 2021, 04:07:07 AM »
This has set me thinking on how many cycles I have:
Barbirolli, Maazel, Collins, Berglund x2
'Historic Performances' (Kajanus/Beecham etc)
Abravanel, Rattle, Ehrling (very good)
Rozhdestvensky, Sanderling, Ashkenazy
Segerstam, Colin Davis (RCA), Karajan/Kamu
Gibson

That makes 16 although I gave Ashkenazy, Gibson and Sanderling away to friends.

I don't know how YOU feel about it, but I reckon those were GOOD friends? Those are all three VERY fine cycles, I find.

Let me see if I can number what I have [Ah, of course I can, with the help of the Sibelius Symphony Cycle Survey)

Ashkenazy I (Decca), Barbirolli, Berglund I-III, Bernstein I & II*, Blomstedt, Collins, Davis II & III, Ehrling,  Karajan EMI*, Karajan DG*, Maazel I & II, Ormandy*, Oramo, Rattle I & II, Rozhdestvensky, Sakari, Sanderling, Saraste II, Segerstam I & II, Vanska I & II, Watanabe II

* = incomplete

30, it would appear. That's definitely too much.



Offline Leo K.

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2843 on: May 03, 2021, 08:20:16 AM »
My sentiments exactly. :) Have you investigated any of the tone poems, incidental music, solo piano music, chamber works, etc.?

I have listened to most of the tone poems now, and they are simply great. But I have not heard the solo piano, chamber works or incidental music - I'm probably missing out on some great stuff there - any recommendations for these genres?

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2844 on: May 03, 2021, 08:55:22 AM »
I have listened to most of the tone poems now, and they are simply great. But I have not heard the solo piano, chamber works or incidental music - I'm probably missing out on some great stuff there - any recommendations for these genres?

There aren’t a lot of chamber works from Sibelius that I’d call top-drawer (almost all of them were composed well before he found his compositional voice), but he did write one masterpiece in the genre and it is Voces intimae, Op. 56. This is an astonishing work and a must-hear, IMHO. All of the incidental music is worth hearing, but The Tempest, Op. 109, for me, is greatest of them all. The solo piano music consists of many great miniatures, but here are a few favorites: Kyllikki, Op. 41, Five Characteristic Impressions, Op. 103, Cinq morceaux, Opps. 75 & 85 and all of the Sonatinas. Also the songs are worth your time and here it doesn’t even matter what I choose, it’ll be great. Happy listening!
Don’t forget your four A’s, folks: Alex, Arnie, Alban and Anton


Offline Daverz

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2845 on: May 03, 2021, 06:38:51 PM »
This has set me thinking on how many cycles I have:
Barbirolli
Maazel
Collins
Berglund x2
'Historic Performances' (Kajanus/Beecham etc)
Abravanel
Rattle
Ehrling (very good)
Rozhdestvensky
Sanderling
Ashkenazy
Segerstam
Colin Davis (RCA)
Karajan/Kamu
Gibson

That makes 16 although I gave Ashkenazy, Gibson and Sanderling away to friends.

I love the Sanderling set.  Very kind of you not to give them the Rattle set instead.   8)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2846 on: May 03, 2021, 10:33:04 PM »
I love the Sanderling set.  Very kind of you not to give them the Rattle set instead.   8)
Haha - I love the Sanderling set also. I think that Rattle's No.3 is one of the very best.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2847 on: May 03, 2021, 10:56:31 PM »
I've been listening to the original version of the 5th Symphony, followed by the final version. In the earlier (1915) versioning there's a lovely bit of counterpoint at about 1 minute 42 seconds into the fourth movement, which gives it a more emotional feel, which was excised by the time of the final (1919) version. I can understand why Sibelius did this, as the 1919 version is more 'Sibelian' and reduced to what is essential I think, however, as in the concluding section of 1913 and 1920 versions Vaughan Williams's 'A London Symphony', I miss those more 'emotional' moments. There's another extraordinary passage about 6 minutes into the earlier version of Sibelius's 5th Symphony which is also missing from the final version. It's fascinating being able to make these comparisons by issuing both versions on the same CD:

"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online Madiel

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2848 on: May 04, 2021, 04:37:32 AM »
I have listened to most of the tone poems now, and they are simply great. But I have not heard the solo piano, chamber works or incidental music - I'm probably missing out on some great stuff there - any recommendations for these genres?

The incidental music is definitely worth your time and is pretty well represented in the catalogue. I bought the Naxos series conducted by Segerstam, though it isn't complete (No Tempest, which would horrify Mirror Image). Some of the "incidental" music is not so incidental, for example Scaramouche is a complete work.

For solo piano works, I would highly recommend Mertanen as a performer if you can hear him. When I sampled various sets, Mertanen and Servadei seemed to make a lot more of the music than some other performers. Op.24 is the most substantial set of pieces (and a bit later than that opus number suggests).

I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

Offline relm1

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2849 on: May 04, 2021, 04:56:42 AM »
I have listened to most of the tone poems now, and they are simply great. But I have not heard the solo piano, chamber works or incidental music - I'm probably missing out on some great stuff there - any recommendations for these genres?

I love the songs too.  Sibelius is just one of those composers that I've not heard anything I dislike.  It's immediately unique and casts a spell on me whatever it is.  I love the orchestral songs but the chamber songs are great too.  Some of the orchestral songs are borderline tone poems, quite evocative and theatrical.

Online OrchestralNut

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2850 on: May 04, 2021, 05:25:19 AM »
The incidental music is definitely worth your time and is pretty well represented in the catalogue. I bought the Naxos series conducted by Segerstam, though it isn't complete (No Tempest, which would horrify Mirror Image). Some of the "incidental" music is not so incidental, for example Scaramouche is a complete work.

For solo piano works, I would highly recommend Mertanen as a performer if you can hear him. When I sampled various sets, Mertanen and Servadei seemed to make a lot more of the music than some other performers. Op.24 is the most substantial set of pieces (and a bit later than that opus number suggests).

I second the Scaramouche. It is excellent.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2851 on: May 04, 2021, 05:46:14 PM »
I've been listening to the original version of the 5th Symphony, followed by the final version. In the earlier (1915) versioning there's a lovely bit of counterpoint at about 1 minute 42 seconds into the fourth movement, which gives it a more emotional feel, which was excised by the time of the final (1919) version. I can understand why Sibelius did this, as the 1919 version is more 'Sibelian' and reduced to what is essential I think, however, as in the concluding section of 1913 and 1920 versions Vaughan Williams's 'A London Symphony', I miss those more 'emotional' moments. There's another extraordinary passage about 6 minutes into the earlier version of Sibelius's 5th Symphony which is also missing from the final version. It's fascinating being able to make these comparisons by issuing both versions on the same CD:


I like your comment about the original version being 'unSibelian', I think this is what may have sunk the Eighth Symphony.

Offline Brian

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2852 on: May 05, 2021, 04:50:36 AM »
For solo piano works, I would highly recommend Mertanen as a performer if you can hear him.
Agreed. I have the Mertanen box and two single-disc recitals by Andsnes and Grasbeck ("on Sibelius' own piano"), and can't imagine ever finding any more satisfaction/delight in this repertoire than from that trio.

Offline relm1

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2853 on: May 05, 2021, 05:02:33 AM »
I like your comment about the original version being 'unSibelian', I think this is what may have sunk the Eighth Symphony.

I have reached the conclusion that the fragments are not of the Eighth at all.  I don't think anything connects them other than they are sketches and fragments written during that 30 year silence.  Composers wrote ideas.  Some fizzled.  Some went places and were worth developing further.  These were just sketches and ideas and nothing more.  Far from segments of a completed work.  I still have hopes that it might surface somewhere, sometime.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2854 on: May 05, 2021, 08:45:40 PM »
I like your comment about the original version being 'unSibelian', I think this is what may have sunk the Eighth Symphony.
Interesting - thank you. I should have written that the other 'extraordinary passage' I was referring to was 6 minutes into the last movement of the 1915 version. That BIS CD featuring both versions of the 5th symphony has given me great pleasure.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 08:47:18 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2855 on: May 05, 2021, 08:48:16 PM »
I have reached the conclusion that the fragments are not of the Eighth at all.  I don't think anything connects them other than they are sketches and fragments written during that 30 year silence.  Composers wrote ideas.  Some fizzled.  Some went places and were worth developing further.  These were just sketches and ideas and nothing more.  Far from segments of a completed work.  I still have hopes that it might surface somewhere, sometime.
I hope so too.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2856 on: May 06, 2021, 02:09:52 AM »
I have reached the conclusion that the fragments are not of the Eighth at all.  I don't think anything connects them other than they are sketches and fragments written during that 30 year silence.  Composers wrote ideas.  Some fizzled.  Some went places and were worth developing further.  These were just sketches and ideas and nothing more.  Far from segments of a completed work.  I still have hopes that it might surface somewhere, sometime.

I hope so too.

I'll check my attic.

PD

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2857 on: May 06, 2021, 07:10:36 AM »
The 8th probably developed into a persistent mirage. But finding a big manuscript of it somewhere ... that would be fantastic.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2858 on: May 06, 2021, 06:32:17 PM »
The 8th probably developed into a persistent mirage. But finding a big manuscript of it somewhere ... that would be fantastic.

I doubt it exists. Didn’t he throw it into a fire?
Don’t forget your four A’s, folks: Alex, Arnie, Alban and Anton


Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #2859 on: May 06, 2021, 11:41:01 PM »
I doubt it exists. Didn’t he throw it into a fire?

But there are also accounts that he had a version fair copied in the 1930s and the faint hope is that a copy is sitting in some library or storage somewhere.