Author Topic: The Snowshoed Sibelius  (Read 437829 times)

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Offline foxandpeng

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3180 on: May 26, 2022, 01:50:29 AM »
This is just an aside, but I love the John Bauer illustration. I have a whole book of his illustrations that accompany Swedish fairy tales. Great stuff.

Some other favorite illustrations from Bauer:









+1

Bauer is great. My wife is particularly keen on his work. Less so Sibelius, but you can't always have everything.

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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3181 on: May 26, 2022, 06:15:57 AM »
This is just an aside, but I love the John Bauer illustration. I have a whole book of his illustrations that accompany Swedish fairy tales. Great stuff.

Some other favorite illustrations from Bauer:



Those are great, thanks for posting, John. I think I'll be searching for a Bauer coffee-table book now.
And I knew this one looked familiar...



Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3182 on: May 26, 2022, 06:23:56 AM »
I've also become increasingly infatuated lately with The Bard. Slightly perfect, not one errant note in this work.

When I searched online for some expanded knowledge on The Bard I initially went to Wikipedia and found this descriptive sentence, not sure who is credited with this but I liked it...

"The tone poem itself provides a profound, yet cryptic glimpse of an elegiac, poetic world: an initial, harp-led stillness and reflection are succeeded by elemental, eruptive surges and, finally, a sense of renunciation or maybe death."

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3183 on: May 26, 2022, 06:42:28 AM »
+1

Bauer is great. My wife is particularly keen on his work. Less so Sibelius, but you can't always have everything.

8)

Those are great, thanks for posting, John. I think I'll be searching for a Bauer coffee-table book now.
And I knew this one looked familiar...




This is an absolute killer performance of Kullervo from Dausgaard. I'd rate as highly as Berlgund/Bournemouth. It's that good.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3184 on: May 26, 2022, 09:40:32 AM »
8)

This is an absolute killer performance of Kullervo from Dausgaard. I'd rate as highly as Berlgund/Bournemouth. It's that good.

My favourite "not-Berglund/Bournemouth" (which is still my 1st love) is the stunning live Proms version from Oramo that was a BBC Music Mag disc.... its a thriller!


Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3185 on: May 26, 2022, 12:32:59 PM »
My favourite "not-Berglund/Bournemouth" (which is still my 1st love) is the stunning live Proms version from Oramo that was a BBC Music Mag disc.... its a thriller!



Very nice. I believe I have this performance somewhere.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3186 on: June 08, 2022, 06:58:57 PM »
Listening notes on a Wednesday night (complete with a glass of bourbon)...





Comparing several performances of the 6th tonight, mostly just of the Allegro Molto finale and it's varied takes on the tempo. Listened to three recordings; Vanska/Lahti, Ashkenazy/Phil, Berglund/Bournemouth, which all have different approaches. Vanska and Ashkenazy start off similarly with a tempo that seems more in line with it's allegro molto marking, but Ashkenazy begins to slow down as the piece nears the end. For those that follow scores the tempo changes to doppio piu lento right before the final section as the violas fade out switching from eight notes to sixteenth notes, it's unnoticeable without seeing it notated but must've been placed there to allow extra space for the following noted espressivo to close out the piece.
Vanska mostly continues the same feel of tempo throughout until the end, whereas Ashkenazy decelerates and adds more rubato. All the while Berglund is much slower from beginning to end when compared to just about any other recording I've heard. 

I don't think any of these necessarily sound more correct than the others, they are all excellent, even Berglund at such a slow pace keeps a consistent tone and is able to build intensity when needed. But I think Ashkenazy offers the most compelling take on the movement of these three. The contrast of the pacing between the opening and the closing sections is perfect for this movement. 

Blomstedt/SFS was always my reference for the 6th, might still be, and Segerstam/Helsinki is another dramatically fantastic listen. It's just great to have so many different performances as Sibelius' music allows for such an variety of interpretations.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3187 on: June 09, 2022, 08:20:59 AM »
Listening notes on a Wednesday night (complete with a glass of bourbon)...





Comparing several performances of the 6th tonight, mostly just of the Allegro Molto finale and it's varied takes on the tempo. Listened to three recordings; Vanska/Lahti, Ashkenazy/Phil, Berglund/Bournemouth, which all have different approaches. Vanska and Ashkenazy start off similarly with a tempo that seems more in line with it's allegro molto marking, but Ashkenazy begins to slow down as the piece nears the end. For those that follow scores the tempo changes to doppio piu lento right before the final section as the violas fade out switching from eight notes to sixteenth notes, it's unnoticeable without seeing it notated but must've been placed there to allow extra space for the following noted espressivo to close out the piece.
Vanska mostly continues the same feel of tempo throughout until the end, whereas Ashkenazy decelerates and adds more rubato. All the while Berglund is much slower from beginning to end when compared to just about any other recording I've heard. 

I don't think any of these necessarily sound more correct than the others, they are all excellent, even Berglund at such a slow pace keeps a consistent tone and is able to build intensity when needed. But I think Ashkenazy offers the most compelling take on the movement of these three. The contrast of the pacing between the opening and the closing sections is perfect for this movement. 

Blomstedt/SFS was always my reference for the 6th, might still be, and Segerstam/Helsinki is another dramatically fantastic listen. It's just great to have so many different performances as Sibelius' music allows for such an variety of interpretations.

Exactly so!

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3188 on: June 09, 2022, 08:24:21 AM »
Exactly so!

+1 There are just so many ways one can interpret Sibelius' music.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Offline LKB

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3189 on: June 10, 2022, 03:13:00 AM »
Listening notes on a Wednesday night (complete with a glass of bourbon)...





Comparing several performances of the 6th tonight, mostly just of the Allegro Molto finale and it's varied takes on the tempo. Listened to three recordings; Vanska/Lahti, Ashkenazy/Phil, Berglund/Bournemouth, which all have different approaches. Vanska and Ashkenazy start off similarly with a tempo that seems more in line with it's allegro molto marking, but Ashkenazy begins to slow down as the piece nears the end. For those that follow scores the tempo changes to doppio piu lento right before the final section as the violas fade out switching from eight notes to sixteenth notes, it's unnoticeable without seeing it notated but must've been placed there to allow extra space for the following noted espressivo to close out the piece.
Vanska mostly continues the same feel of tempo throughout until the end, whereas Ashkenazy decelerates and adds more rubato. All the while Berglund is much slower from beginning to end when compared to just about any other recording I've heard. 

I don't think any of these necessarily sound more correct than the others, they are all excellent, even Berglund at such a slow pace keeps a consistent tone and is able to build intensity when needed. But I think Ashkenazy offers the most compelling take on the movement of these three. The contrast of the pacing between the opening and the closing sections is perfect for this movement. 

Blomstedt/SFS was always my reference for the 6th, might still be, and Segerstam/Helsinki is another dramatically fantastic listen. It's just great to have so many different performances as Sibelius' music allows for such an variety of interpretations.

Since nobody else has asked the crucial question:

How was the bourbon?
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Offline Florestan

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3190 on: June 10, 2022, 07:30:13 AM »
Since nobody else has asked the crucial question:

How was the bourbon?

Thread winner!  :D
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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3191 on: June 10, 2022, 07:42:52 PM »
Since nobody else has asked the crucial question:

How was the bourbon?

Delicious.


Offline Maestro267

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3192 on: June 11, 2022, 11:12:45 AM »
Listened to Symphony No. 6 tonight and anyone else hear an affinity with Vaughan Williams in this music?

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3193 on: June 12, 2022, 03:32:35 AM »
Listened to Symphony No. 6 tonight and anyone else hear an affinity with Vaughan Williams in this music?
Yes, I can. I think that VW was influenced by Sibelius, whom he greatly admired. I find an influence in (VW's) symphonies 5,6 and at one point in No.9.
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Offline Maestro267

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3194 on: June 12, 2022, 09:26:34 AM »
Listening to Symphony No. 1 just now. It amazes me how vastly different in speed the interpretations of the closing bars can be. I've heard some where it speeds through quite quickly and others like Ashkenazy/Philharmonia that I just listened to that take it very slowly.

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3195 on: June 12, 2022, 12:00:34 PM »
Listening to Symphony No. 1 just now. It amazes me how vastly different in speed the interpretations of the closing bars can be. I've heard some where it speeds through quite quickly and others like Ashkenazy/Philharmonia that I just listened to that take it very slowly.

I find it a bit infuriating when a performance speeds through this ending, mostly because the faster the tempo the easier it is for the final two pizzicato chords from the strings to get lost in the timpani.

Offline relm1

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3196 on: June 13, 2022, 05:13:31 AM »
Listening to Symphony No. 1 just now. It amazes me how vastly different in speed the interpretations of the closing bars can be. I've heard some where it speeds through quite quickly and others like Ashkenazy/Philharmonia that I just listened to that take it very slowly.

I think part of the greatness of this work is the contrast in tempi of the last movement.  It's both frantic and restrained.  I LOVE when they slam the brakes on the final anguished moments since the faster sections of the movement are fever pitched.  I think that's part of what makes it feel Russian in a sort of Rachmaninoff No. 1 ending way which similarly benefits from really halting the brakes at the end to let us indulge in that gravitas in all its vodka soaked sumptuousness.

Offline krummholz

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3197 on: June 13, 2022, 08:20:07 AM »
I think part of the greatness of this work is the contrast in tempi of the last movement.  It's both frantic and restrained.  I LOVE when they slam the brakes on the final anguished moments since the faster sections of the movement are fever pitched.  I think that's part of what makes it feel Russian in a sort of Rachmaninoff No. 1 ending way which similarly benefits from really halting the brakes at the end to let us indulge in that gravitas in all its vodka soaked sumptuousness.

I agree that this drastic slowing works very well in #1... and yet some conductors (notably Bernstein) take the coda of #4 at a similarly drastically slow pace. That was the first reading of the work that I ever heard, but ever since I first heard a more faithful interpretation (e.g. Davis), Bernstein's tempo in that coda has sounded just plain wrong.

Offline Madiel

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3198 on: June 21, 2022, 03:39:08 AM »
To go back to a slightly earlier discussion about the best Sibelius orchestral work that isn't a symphony... the Lemminkainen Suite would surely have to be up there? Four symphonic poems in one go.



It's certainly one of the most ambitious things besides the symphonies (partly depending on where you place Kullervo). I'd argue that those two works (Kullervo in 1892, Lemminkainen in 1896/7) are really the lead-up to Sibelius deciding to tackle his fairly rigorous notion of a symphony.

Interestingly, Lemminkainen might also be the work that first prompted Sibelius to draw up an opus list - it's the final and most recent work on the first list we know about. So maybe he was developing a sense that he was going to have a significant legacy.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2022, 03:43:30 AM by Madiel »
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Offline Madiel

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Re: The Snowshoed Sibelius
« Reply #3199 on: July 01, 2022, 04:00:37 AM »
Okay, that didn't work...

Can we get some love for The Rapids-Rider's Brides? An absolute gem of an orchestral song. There seem to be only 3 recordings of it, which is a real shame. Possibly because it's for a male singer and a lot of the orchestral versions of songs are for a female singer.
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