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Sibelius Edition Vol 11 - Choral Music

Sibelius / Yl Male Choir
Release Date: 09/28/2010 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1930/32  
Composer:  Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Raimo LaukkaTuomas KatajalaSirpa LiliusHelena Juntunen,   ... 
Conductor:  Robert SundAstrid RiskaSeppo MurtoHenrik Wikstrom,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lilla Academy Boys' ChoirHelsinki Boys' ChoirTammisaari Boys' Choir,   ... 
Number of Discs: 6 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

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SIBELIUS Rakastava . 6 Songs, op. 18. 2 Songs, op. 65. 5 Songs, op. 84. 2 Songs, op. 108. Chorales for Mixed Choir. Read more class="ARIAL12bi">Cantata for the Helsinki University Graduation Ceremonies of 1897 & Matti Hyökki, cond; YL Male Voice Ch; Henrik Wikström, cond; Akademiska Sångföreningen; Robert Sund, cond; Orphei Drängar; Astrid Riska, cond; Jubilate Ch; Seppo Murto, cond; Dominante Ch; Ulf Långbacka, cond; Florakören; various soloists BIS CD 1930–32 (6 CDs: 437:46 Text and Translation)


& Music for male choir; music for mixed choir; music for female or children’s choir; transcriptions of works with orchestra; preliminary and alternative versions


For those who haven’t been keeping track, this is Volume 11 (“Choral Music”) of BIS’s monumental Sibelius Edition. This volume includes all of Sibelius’s music for chorus a cappella and with instrumental accompaniment—piano for the most part, although the odd item uses organ, harmonium, or, in one of the songs from the 1897 Graduation Cantata, percussion. The works for chorus and orchestra were incorporated in Volume 3, “Voice & Orchestra.” As with earlier volumes, the six discs of this set sell for the price of three.


19th-century Finland had an active and longstanding tradition of choral music, and in particular music for male choir; the YL Male Voice Choir featured prominently here was founded at Helsinki University in 1883, when Sibelius was a student. Unlike some other genres—chamber music, for example—Sibelius wrote choral music throughout his career. Most of the major works naturally are with orchestra; accordingly, much of the present volume consists of rather short, often occasional pieces, and piano reductions of choral-orchestral originals. The track list alone takes 28 pages of the extensive booklet, which as always includes Andrew Barnett’s incisive commentary and full texts in the original language with English translation.


Sibelius’s earliest surviving choral works are two sets of student exercises, identified here as “chorales,” written in 1887–89 for his teacher Martin Wegelius in Helsinki and in 1889–90 for Albert Becker in Berlin. These exercises, 34 items lasting an average of about two minutes each, form one of two generous appendices to the volume (CD 5). The nomenclature is problematic: these pieces are modeled not after Bach’s Lutheran chorales, but more on the motet, especially that of Brahms; the Wegelius items in particular are unfailingly written in strict imitative counterpoint, with Swedish and Latin texts based on psalm excerpts and fragments of the Catholic Mass. Barnett tells me that the term “chorale” does not appear in Sibelius’s manuscripts nor in Kilpeläinen’s thematic catalog, but rather has come into use in performances that have taken place since the music was rediscovered in a large collection of manuscripts donated to the Helsinki University Library by the Sibelius family in 1982. The exercises themselves naturally give little hint of the musical personality of their composer, but show considerable mastery of 18th-century counterpoint of the type that, ironically, Sibelius rarely used in his mature, original compositions. As a case in point, most of the music in this volume is homophonic.


Around the same time he was working on the Wegelius exercises, Sibelius wrote his first original works for mixed choir. Set to Swedish texts—his later choral works were fairly evenly divided between Swedish and Finnish—these pieces show from the start his knack for choral writing; one, Ensam I dunkla skogarnas famn (Alone in the Dark Forest’s Clasp), quotes almost directly from Brahms’s part-song Es tönt ein voller Harfenklang , op. 17/1.


Works for male choir make up the entirety of the first two discs in the set. The first of these to appear, in 1893, was the original version of Rakastava (The Lover). This piece was later arranged for mixed choir (a pattern that becomes familiar as one proceeds through the volume), then reworked into the familiar suite for string orchestra in 1911–12. Comparison with the latter, which bears the misleadingly low opus number 14, shows a more normalized rhythmic structure—Sibelius’s music became far more rhythmically complex and elusive after the turn of the century—and less astringent harmonies, although the piece reportedly caused its early performers a great deal of difficulty. The previous year, the astonishing Kullervo had appeared; the fact that the two movements transcribed with piano accompaniment are the two featuring the male chorus suggests that the transcription was effected for rehearsal purposes. Nevertheless, the two movements are complete, and come off surprisingly well in this form. Soloists Johanna Rusanen and Jorma Hynninen are both veterans of complete recordings of the work—no fewer than four in Hynninen’s case—and their contributions are of the expected high caliber. Indeed, Hynninen’s performance here (with just a slight bit of wobble in the most taxing passages), and as a soloist in several other works in the volume, is especially impressive considering the fact that he is nearing 70!


The second appendix (CD 6) consists of “alternative/preliminary versions” of works that appear in their definitive form earlier in the volume or in Volume 3. The most important of these, taking up a full 39 minutes, is a reconstruction of the cantata Sibelius composed for the 1897 graduation ceremonies; he had also provided such a cantata for the ceremonies of 1894 (Volume 3). This cantata was performed only a single time, and the orchestral score and almost all the parts are lost. What remain are most of the choral parts and the piano reduction; the missing portions of the latter were reconstructed for this recording by Kalevi Aho. Despite the keyboard heroics of Folke Gräsbeck, it’s a pity the full score hasn’t survived; this is music very much in the patriotic vein of the Lemminkäinen Suite and the Press Celebrations music of the same period, and would doubtless make a more powerful impression with orchestra. Sibelius did arrange nine songs from this cantata for mixed choir a cappella as his op. 23, and these are of course included here as well.


Space does not allow detailed discussion of the many other works in this set. They vary widely in character. Some were composed as tributes or memorials for friends and prominent public figures; others, particularly the groups with opus numbers listed above, seem to have been composed in response to some inner motivation. Many are patriotic in character, either overtly or thinly veiled, having been created during volatile political times. Still others were composed on request; interesting examples are the items in English, Three Songs for American Schools , written for a project being compiled by Yale’s Horatio Parker, and the Scout March , op. 91b, originally written in Finnish but later adopted, in English, as the official song of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Numerous items are given in more than one version; an extreme instance of this is the brief Har du mod? (Have You Courage?), op. 31/2, which appears here in no fewer than three versions—in addition to four versions in Volume 3! And, of course, there is the inevitable Finlandia hymn. Sibelius had resisted suggestions to arrange the excerpt for chorus, saying, “It is not intended for singing, but rather composed for orchestra.” Eventually, however, he decided that if he couldn’t beat them he might as well join them: “But if the world wants to sing, one cannot do anything about it.” Ultimately, he produced four choral versions of the hymn, all included here.


As has become the standard for this edition, the performances of the various choirs are superb, as is the sound. The Jubilate Choir items were recorded in 1996–98 and issued on earlier single-disc volumes; the rest date from 2005–10. Some items originally recorded by the Jubilate, notably the op. 18 male-chorus songs, were redone by the Dominante Choir. Only one item with a boys’ choir is shrill and somewhat out of tune; interestingly, the few works written for children’s choir are for the most part sung by women. In any event, since the bulk of the contents of the volume are only recordings, this is a must-buy for committed Sibelians. Self-recommending.


FANFARE: Richard A. Kaplan


Tracklist:
Kullervo, Op.7: Movements III and V for soloists, male voice choir and piano
  1. III. Kullervo ja hänen sisarensa (Kullervo and his Sister). Allegro 26'00
  2. V. Kullervon kuolema (Kullervo’s Death) 11'47

  3. Rakastava (The Lover), JS160a 7'40

Six Songs, Op.18
  4. 1. Sortunut ääni (The Broken Voice) 1'20
  5. 2. Terve kuu (Hail, O Moon) 3'10
  6. 3. Venematka (The Boat Journey) 1'34
  7. 4. Saarella palaa (Fire on the Island) 1'23
  8. 5. Metsämiehen laulu (The Woodsman’s Song) 1'36
  9. 6. Sydämeni laulu (Song of my Heart) 2'12

  10. Heitä, koski, kuohuminen (Cease , O Cataract, Thy Foaming), JS94 1'11

Hymn (Natus in curas), Op.21
  11. Revised version (1896, rev. 1898) 4'01

  12. Kuutamolla (In the Moonlight), JS114 1'53

Athenarnes sång (Song of the Athenians), Op.31 No.3
  13. Version for boys’ and mens’ voices, piano and harmonium (1899) 3'15

Sandels, Op.28
  14. Version for male voice choir and piano (1898) 9'22

CD 2:
Har du mod? (Have You Courage?), JS93
  1. Version for male voice choir a cappella 1'26

Ej med klagan (Not with Lamentation), JS69
  2. Version for male voice choir 1'11

  3. Laulun mahti (The Power of Song), JS118 3'01

  4. Veljeni vierailla mailla (My Brothers Abroad), JS217 3'13

Isänmaalle (To the Fatherland), JS98b
  5. Final version (1899, rev. 1908) 2'10

Tulen synty (The Origin of Fire), Op.32
  6. Version for baritone, male voice choir and piano (1902, rev. 1910) 8'42

Har du mod? (Have You Courage?), Op.31 No.2
  7. Revised version for male voice choir and piano (1904, rev. 1911) 3'07

Uusmaalaisten laulu (Song of the People of Uusimaa), JS214b
  8. Version for male voice choir 2'04

Five Songs, Op.84
  9. 1. Herr Lager och Skön fager (Mr Lager and the Fair One) 1'57
  10. 2. På berget (On the Mountain) 3'01
  11. 3. Ett drömackord (A Dream Chord) 3'36
  12. 4. Evige Eros (Eternal Eros) 2'58
  13. 5. Till havs (To Sea) 2'24

  14. Fridolins dårskap (Fridolin’s Folly), JS84 2'27

  15. Jone havsfärd (Jonah’s Voyage), JS 100 2'29

Two Schybergson Songs, JS224
  16. 1. Ute hörs stormen (Outside the Storm is Raging) 2'11
  17. 2. Brusande rusar en våg (The Roaring of a Wave) 1'20

Likhet (Resemblance), JS121
  18. Likhet (Resemblance), JS12 2'08

Jääkärien marssi (March of the Finnish Jäger Battalion), Op.91a
  19. Original version for male voice choir and piano 2'20

Viipurin Laulu-Veikkojen kunniamarssi (Honour March of the Singing Brothers of Viipuri)
  20. Version I, JS219 1'24
  21. Version II, JS220 1'14

Two Songs, Op.108
  22. 1. Humoreski (Humoresque) 3'28
  23. 2. Ne pitkän matkan kulkijat (Wanderers on the Long Way) 2'44

  24. Skyddskårsmarsch, JS173 1'11

  25. Siltavahti (The Guardian of the Bridge), JS170a 1'37

  26. Karjalan osa (Karelia’s Fate), JS108 4'14

En etsi valtaa, loistoa (Give me no Splendour, Gold or Pomp), Op.1 No.4
  27. Version for male voice choir (1909, rev. c. 1942) 2'38

Finlandia Hymn from Op.26
  28. Version for male voice choir 2'05

CD 3:
  1. Ensam i dunkla skogarnas famn (Alone in the Dark Forest’s Clasp), JS72 2'31

  2. När sig våren åter föder (When Spring is Born Again), JS139 1'58

  3. Tanke, se, hur fågeln svingar (Thought, See how the Bird Swoops), JS191 1'16

  4. Hur blekt är allt (So Faded Everything Is), JS96 2'05

  5. Upp genom luften (Up Through the Air), JS213 2'45

  6. Ack, hör du fröken Gyllenborg (Ah! Listen, Miss Gyllenborg), JS10 1'03

  7. Työkansan marssi (March of the Labourers), JS212 2'19

  8. Soitapas soria neito (Play, Pretty Maiden), JS176 1'23

  9. Juhlamarssi (Festive March), JS105 4'02

Italian Folk Song Arrangements, JS99
  10. 1. Oje Carulì (Oh Caroline) 2'49
  11. 2. Trippole trappole 1'57

Songs for Mixed Choir from the Cantata for the University Graduation Ceremonies of 1897, Op.23
  12. 1. Me nuoriso Suomen (We the Youth of Finland) 2'43
  13. 2. Tuuli tuudittele (The Wind Rocks) 2'20
  14. 3. Oi toivo, toivo, sä lietomieli (O Hope, Hope, You Dreamer) 1'00
  15. 4. Montapa elon merellä (Many on the Sea of Life) 0'48
  16. 5. Sammuva sainio maan (The Fading Thoughts of the Earth) 1'21
  17. 6a. Soi kiitokseksi Luojan (We Praise Thee, our Creator) 1'31
  18. 6b. Tuule, tuuli leppeämmin (Blow, Wind, More Gently) 2'51
  19. 7. Oi Lempi, sun valtas ääretön on (O Love, Your Realm is Limitless) 2'32
  20. 8. Kuin virta vuolas (As the Swift Current) 2'25
  21. 9. Oi, kallis Suomi, äiti verraton (Oh Precious Finland, Mother Beyond Compare) 1'20

Carminalia, JS51a - Version for three-part mixed choir
  22. I. Ecce novum gaudium (Behold a New Joy) 1'08
  23. II. Angelus emittitur (An Angel is Sent Out) 0'34
  24. III. In stadio laboris (In Athletic Strife) 0'42

  25. Rakastava (The Lover), JS160c 7'13

from Six Songs, Op.18 – versions for mixed choir
  26. 1. Sortunut ääni (The Broken Voice) 1'32
  27. 3. Venematka (The Boat Journey) 1'37
  28. 4. Saarella palaa (Fire on the Island) 1'19
  29. 6. Sydämeni laulu (Song of my Heart) 3'01

  30. Min rastas raataa (Busy as a Thrush), JS129 1'17

Isänmaalle (To the Fatherland), JS98a
  31. Version for mixed choir 2'03

CD 4:
Aamusumussa (In the Morning Mist), JS9a
  1. Version for mixed choir 1'38

Den 25 oktober 1902. Till Thérèse Hahl (25th October 1902. To Thérèse Hahl)
  2. Version I, JS60. Andantino 2'09
  3. Version II, JS61. Tranquillo 2'07

Ej med klagan (Not with Lamentation), JS69
  4. Published version for mixed choir 1'19

  5. Listen to the Water Mill (fragment), JS122 3'06

Two Songs, Op.65
  6. a. Män från slätten och havet (Men from Land and Sea) 5'22
  7. b. Kellosävel Kallion kirkossa (The Bells of Kallio Church) 2'17

Uusmaalaisten laulu (Song of the People of Uusimaa), JS214a
  8. Version for mixed choir 2'15

Three Songs for American Schools, JS199
  9. 1. Autumn Song 0'54
  10. 2. The Sun upon the Lake Is Low 0'44
  11. 3. A Cavalry Catch 1'01

  12. Drömmarna (The Dreams), JS64 1'27

Partiolaisten marssi (Scout March), Op.91b
  13. Version for mixed choir and piano 2'34

  14. Koulutie (The Way to School), JS112 4'41

  15. Skolsång (School Song), JS172 1'02

  16. Den höga himlen (The Lofty Heav’n), JS58a 2'43

  17. On lapsonen syntynyt meille (A Child is Born Unto Us), JS142 2'52

Finlandia Hymn from Op.26
  18. Version in F major for mixed choir 2'04

  19. Vi kysser du fader min fästmö här? (Why, O Father, do you Kiss my Bride?), JS218 2'07

Carminalia, JS51c - Version for two-part female choir (SA) and piano
  20. I. Ecce novum gaudium (Behold a New Joy) 1'05
  21. II. Angelus emittitur (An Angel is Sent Out) 0'37
  22. III. In stadio laboris (In Athletic Strife) 0'43

  23. Kotikaipaus (Homesickness), JS111 1'46

Impromptu, Op.19
  24. Revised version for female choir and piano 7'04

  25. Kansakoululaisten marssi (March of the Primary School Children), JS103 1'47

  26. Kantat till ord av W. von Konow (Cantata to Words by W. von Konow), JS107 2'59

Aamusumussa (In the Morning Mist), JS9b
  27. Version for children’s choir 1'35

Terve ruhtinatar (Hail, O Princess) from JS104
  28. Version for children’s choir 1'18

Nejden andas (The Landscape Breathes) from Op.30
  29. Version for children’s choir with second ending 0'39

Soi kunniaksi Luojan (May the Hymn of Honour Now Resound) from JS106
  30. Version for children’s/female choir 1'30

Two Christmas Songs from Op.1 - Versions for two-part female choir
  31. No.4. Giv mig ej glans, ej guld, ej prakt (Give me no Splendour, Gold or Pomp) 2'16
  32. No.5. On hanget korkeat, nietokset (High are the Snowdrifts) 2'14

  33. The World Song of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, Op.91b 1'51

CD 5:
Chorales written for Martin Wegelius in Helsinki (1887–89)
  1. Säll är den som fruktar Herren (Blessed is the Man that Feareth the Lord) 1'02
  2. Svara mig Gud när jag ropar (O Lord, Give Ear to my Supplications) 1'16
  3. Allt vad anda haver (Let Every Thing that hath Breath) - Version I 1'04
  4. Allt vad anda haver (Let Every Thing that hath Breath) - Allt vad anda haver (Let Every Thing that hath Breath) - Version II 1'11
  5. Credo in unum Deum (I Believe in One God) - Version I 0'52
  6. Credo in unum Deum (I Believe in One God) - Version II 0'54
  7. Gloria Deo in excelsis (Glory Be to God on High) 1'14
  8. Gloria in excelsis Deo (Glory Be to God on High) 1'06
  9. Kyrie eleison (Lord, Have Mercy) 1'36
  10. Morgonens och aftonens portar (The Gates of Morning and Evening) 5'01

Chorales written for Albert Becker in Berlin (1889–90)
  11. Der König träumte (The King Saw a Dream) 3'08
  12. Der Mensch ist in seinem Leben wie Gras (As for Man, his Days are as Grass) 1'46
  13. Dies ist der Tag des Herren (This is the Day which the Lord Hath Made) 1'52
  14. Sende dein Licht und deine Wahrheit (O Send out thy Light and thy Truth) 0'47
  15. Ich gehe hinein zum Altar des Gottes (Then Will I Go unto the Altar of God) 0'51
  16. Was betrübst du dich, meine Seele (Why art thou Cast Down, O my soul?) 0'59
  17. Gelobet sei dem Herrn (May the Lord be Praised) 0'31
  18. Halleluja, Halleluja (Alleluia, Alleluia) 1'45
  19. Halleluja! Amen 0'34
  20. Die Wasser sahen dich (The Waters Saw Thee) 2'45
  21. Die Toten werden dich, Herr, nicht loben (The Dead Praise Not the Lord) 1'07
  22. [Gott] Sei mir gnädig (Be Merciful unto Me) - Version I 1'41
  23. [Gott] Sei mir gnädig (Be Merciful unto Me) - Version II 1'31
  24. Er ist unser Herrscher (He is our Sovereign) - Version I 2'51
  25. Er ist unser Herrscher (He is our Sovereign) - Version II 2'42
  26. Er ist unser Herrscher (He is our Sovereign) - Version III 2'32
  27. Herr Gott, mein Heiland (O Lord God of my Salvation) - Version I 1'05
  28. Herr Gott, mein Heiland (O Lord God of my Salvation) - Version II 0'51
  29. Herr Gott, mein Heiland (O Lord God of my Salvation) - Version III 3'22
  30. Herr Gott, mein Heiland (O Lord God of my Salvation) - Version IV 3'12
  31. Ich will deines Namens gedenken (I Will Make Thy Name to be Remembered) 3'16
  32. Mein Herr, ich rufe dich an (My Lord, I Call Upon You) - Version I 2'26
  33. Mein Herr, ich rufe dich an (My Lord, I Call Upon You) - Version II 2'37
  34. Herr, du bist ein Fels (Lord, You are a Rock) 2'00

CD 6:
Cantata for the University Graduation Ceremonies of 1897, JS106
  1. I. Me nuoriso Suomen (We, the Youth of Finland) 3'11
  2. II. Veno kupliksi vesille (A Boat Bobbing in the Water) 1'56
  3. III. Tää valon nuori vartiasto (These Young Guardians of Light) 2'18
  4. IV. Soma on tieto siemeniksi (Sweet is the Knowledge that Bears Fruit) 2'26
  5. V. Hei tointa tarmosaapa tarvitaan (Take Heed, Hard Work is Needed) 2'02
  6. VI. …hylyksi jouda (…to Become a Wreck) (fragment) 0'40
  7. VII. Oi toivo, toivo, sä lietomieli (O Hope, Hope, You Dreamer) 1'24
  8. VIII. Montapa elon merellä (Many on the Sea of Life) 3'38
  9. IX. …Suvi nyt on Suomessa (…Now it is Summer in Finland) (fragment) 1'05
  10. X. Soi kiitokseksi Luojan (We Praise Thee, our Creator) 5'42
  11. XI. Yksin on elo iloton (Alone, Life is Cheerless) 2'16
  12. XII. Oi Lempi, sun valtas ääretön on (O Love, Your Realm is Limitless) 4'44
  13. XIII. Kuin virta vuolas (As the Swift Current) 2'45
  14. XIV. Sitä kuusta kuuleminen (Listen to the Spruce Tree) 4'54

Hymn (Natus in curas), Op.21
  15. Original version (1896) 3'55

Carminalia, JS51b - Version for two-part female choir (SA) and organ
  16. I. Ecce novum gaudium (Behold a New Joy) 1'16
  17. II. Angelus emittitur (An Angel is Sent Out) 0'34
  18. III. In stadio laboris (In Athletic Strife) 0'48

Isänmaalle (To the Fatherland), JS98b
  19. Original version for male voice choir (1899) 1'47

Athenarnes sång (Song of the Athenians), Op.31 No.3
  20. Version for boys’ and mens’ voices a cappella (1899) 2'04

Impromptu, Op.19 (1902)
  21. Original version for female choir and piano 5'19

Har du mod? (Have You Courage?), Op.31 No.2
  22. Original version for male voice choir and piano (1904) 1'35

Ej med klagan (Not with Lamentation), JS69
  23. Version for mixed choir with later corrections (bars 6–8, 14) 1'28

Nejden andas (The Landscape Breathes) from Op.30
  24. Version for children’s choir with first ending 0'38

Till havs, Op.84 No.5 (To Sea)
  25. Preliminary version (1917) 1'59

Giv mig ej glans, ej guld, ej prakt (Give me no Splendour, Gold or Pomp)
  26. Version for three-part boys’ choir 2'37
  27. Version for female choir [SSAA] and soprano 2'23
  28. Version for female choir [SMA] and soprano 2'18

Suur’ olet, Herra (You are Great, O Lord), JS58b
  29. Version for male voice choir and organ 3'06

Finlandia Hymn from Op.26

  30. Version for male choir voice choir 2'02
31. Version in A flat major for mixed choir
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Works on This Recording

1.
Work(s) by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Raimo Laukka (Baritone), Tuomas Katajala (Tenor), Sirpa Lilius (Soprano),
Helena Juntunen (Soprano), Johanna Rusanen-Kartano (Soprano), Monica Groop (Mezzo Soprano),
Tom Nyman (Tenor), Mika Pohjonen (Tenor), Jorma Hynninen (Baritone),
Sauli Tiilikainen (Baritone)
Conductor:  Robert Sund,  Astrid Riska,  Seppo Murto,  Henrik Wikstrom  ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lilla Academy Boys' Choir,  Helsinki Boys' Choir,  Tammisaari Boys' Choir  ... 
Period: 20th Century 
2.
Kullervo, Op. 7: Kullervo and his Sister by Jean Sibelius
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Finland 
3.
Kullervo, Op. 7: Kullervo's Death by Jean Sibelius
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Finland 
4.
Rakastava, Op. 14 by Jean Sibelius
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 

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