Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: Sibelius

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    119

    Sibelius

    Happy sunday...

    Just started an exploration.

    Wondering what the cognoscenti here at PE think of where to at least initially focus my attention on.

    As an introduction, I got the complete symphonies box-Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vanska which has other stuff on it too like Overture in E Major (amazing btw), Finlandia, Lemminkainen Suite and Violin Concerto in D Minor (among others).

    So far i've only been able to listen to that Overture and about half of Symphony No. 1 which I feel I've heard before.

    Stellar recording! and I'm liking it alot so far.

    Anyone care to engage in a Sibelius convo?

    best
    Michael
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  2. #2
    I have three or four different sets of Sibelius on blu-ray, SACD and a few miscellaneous discs. Symphony 2 is the only one I've listened to enough to recognize. I'm also partial to the tone poems. He's one of my favorites of the more 'popular' Classical composers (ie, composers you'd hear on the radio). I've pretty much liked everything I've heard, and more importantly, feel that there's more to discover and appreciate with further listenings (not something that I can say for a lot of composers). --Peter

  3. #3
    Personal faves :
    Tapiola
    Lemminkäinen suite
    the last Symphonies

    I have this :
    https://www.deutschegrammophon.com/au/cat/4776654

  4. #4
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    3,219
    Michael - Sibelius is one of my fav composers ever. Definitely top 3. Like Mahler, I wasn't always "sold" until I heard the 4th Symphony then I was hooked and since then have bought a shitload of recordings. My go to recordings are the Osmo Vanska/Lahti recordings but there are other great ones such as Segerstam, Berglund, etc. I would highly highly recommend picking up The Essential Sibelius on BIS label, it's incredible. The sonics alone are amazing and the readings are pretty much my favorite. This is just a sampler (albeit a big one) of a much larger definitive overview series that was recorded by The Lahti Symphony and Vanska. There are some pieces that are essential that are not included in The Essential set but only in the separate volumes such as the early version of "Spring Song", but this is only know to the fanatics and will become clearer as you dive in

    Favorites? Well, I love all of his symphonies but if I had to rank them it would look something like:

    4, 7, 5, 6, 3, 2, 1....but even 1 I love with a passion.

    Tone Poems:

    Tapiola
    Lemminkainen (The Swan of Tuonela might be my fav piece of music of all time, yes I say that with other stuff but its really true here)
    The Wood-Nymph
    En Saga
    Spring Song (early version, much better than the completed final version IMO)
    In Memoriam
    Pohjola's Daughter
    Night Ride and Sunrise
    Violin Concerto (not a tone poem but very epic)
    The Bard
    The Dryad
    Finlandia
    Luonnotar (amazing!)
    The Oceanides
    Cassazione (like Spring Song I prefer the early version)

    Also, check out Kullervo - a must. Plus many many songs, piano pieces, theater pieces, etc This is just a small overview - Sibelius is vast, complex, and requires a lot of time and research to properly get what he was all about. I have also read a few books on him, super interesting character and total genius. He embodies the perfect Nordic soundscape for me in an orchestral setting - he was and continues to be a mammoth influence on an entire generation of Finnish (and beyond) composers, and his symphony cycle is regarded as one of the finest ever written along with Mahler and Beethoven. Good luck and keep us posted!

    PS - One more thought - discovering this music was on the level of discovering such things as Magma, Zappa, Henry Cow, Hatfield, Soft Machine, etc etc for me if that gives you any idea how life-altering this could be
    Last edited by chalkpie; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:29 AM.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  5. #5
    Lucky Man
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Schenectady NY USA
    Posts
    543
    Seconded on Night Ride and Sunrise.

    Beautiful piece.
    Perhaps finding the happy medium is harder than we know.

  6. #6
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    3,219
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  7. #7
    One of my favorite composers. Favorite piece is the (alas, fairly obscure) Swanwhite suite:

    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    19
    Thanks for the tips, will listen to some of them.
    My favorites are the Swan of Tuonela, Valse Triste, En Saga and, thanks to Keith Emerson, Karelia Suite. (love the full suite very much, but also have a sweet spot for Keith's live rendition with the Nice)

  9. #9
    Not particularly known for his chamber music, he did write a beautiful string quartet called Voces Intimae - and you might find a recording of a lovely piece for piano and cello called Malinconia.

  10. #10
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    Posts
    847
    I enjoy comparing the original 4 movement, and revised 3 movement versions of Symphony No. 5.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  11. #11
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Divided Snakes of America
    Posts
    1,331
    The Violin Concerto is what has grabbed me the most. It requires incredible virtuosity but it's appeal for me is the (percieved) emotional intensity. I haven't heard nearly all of Sibelius, just a handful of his better known works actually, so keep the recommendations coming!
    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year — the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

  12. #12
    My high school orchestra did "Finlandia", and it has remained my favorite of his works.

  13. #13
    Member adap2it's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    711
    This guy....Sibalius.jpg
    Dave Sr.

    I prefer Nature to Human Nature

  14. #14
    Member StarThrower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    418
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhabreath View Post
    The Violin Concerto is what has grabbed me the most. It requires incredible virtuosity but it's appeal for me is the (percieved) emotional intensity. I haven't heard nearly all of Sibelius, just a handful of his better known works actually, so keep the recommendations coming!
    I've become a fan of the violin concerto. I bought Hilary Hahn's recording for the Schoenberg concerto but the Sibelius has grown on me. Sarah Chang plays this beautifully as well.

    For 10 or 12 bucks the Paavo Berglund/Bournemouth Symphony set is a great introduction. I've listened to this one many times. I also enjoy the Incidental Music series on Naxos conducted by Segerstam. It's now packaged in a 6 disc set.

  15. #15
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    3,219


    I love this guy - he's such a genuine cat and my fav conductor of Sibelius.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  16. #16
    That fellar sure could write him some music, an' stuff.

    I am most familiar with his tone poems and symphonies 2 & 5. Killer shit. The Swan certainly is great.

  17. #17
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    Posts
    847
    Quote Originally Posted by soundsweird View Post
    My high school orchestra did "Finlandia", and it has remained my favorite of his works.
    Finlandia is one of those pieces one recognizes simply by hearing the opening chord.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  18. #18
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    3,219
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Finlandia is one of those pieces one recognizes simply by hearing the opening chord.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  19. #19
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    3,219


    One of my very favorite pieces by Sibelius from his early period....went unperformed and unrecorded for many years. Very interesting history with this piece if you wanna dig in more...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wood_Nymph
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  20. #20
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    3,219
    Quote Originally Posted by jake View Post
    Not particularly known for his chamber music, he did write a beautiful string quartet called Voces Intimae - and you might find a recording of a lovely piece for piano and cello called Malinconia.
    Love Voices Intimae! And cheers for the other piece - will investigate.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  21. #21
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    3,219
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    I enjoy comparing the original 4 movement, and revised 3 movement versions of Symphony No. 5.
    Yeah, its interesting for sure. I prefer the final 3 movement version, but its worth hearing some of his earlier versions of pieces. The Sibelius Edition set is chock full of this stuff, so many earlier pieces; that set was a massive undertaking and they did an incredible job on it - just unbelievable in its scope, research, and performances/recording/engineering. I saw S5 performed by the NYP a few years back and it was beyond wonderful.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  22. #22
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    119
    So yeah...so far this is not easy to wrap my feeble head around. I've listened to symphonies 1-3 and dug them immensely but I really can't put my finger on whats going on here. It's almost like i'm hearing large scale disparate blocks of sound woven together in a logic that has been hard for me to grasp.

    I've also listened to Lemminkainnen (sp) Suite, Finlandia and Valse Triste and again, absolutely gorgeous but I can't help but feel that I'm not quite getting some sort of internal logic that is happening. I know, this is a very poor attempt at putting thoughts into words but so far, it's the best I can do.

    I'll be giving No. 4 a spin tonite which everyone claims is his most "unusual" symphony. Watch...that will be the one i'll probably get. Anyway, thanks for all the commentary so far. Between this and ole Dmitri (see other thread) i'm gonna be busy for a while!

    best
    Michael

    PS Frankie, i was able to procure The Essential Sibelius...almost 20 hours!!!!! Eeegads!!!!
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  23. #23
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    Posts
    847
    To this day, I feel it's a crying shame he burned his Symphony No. 8. I, along with the entire nation of Finland would love to have heard it.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  24. #24
    I have been jamming out the last couple weeks to the disc with 6, 7 and Tempest Suite 2 by Pietra Sakari. It's quite good.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •