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Sibelius: Cantata For The Conferment Ceremony Of 1894, Etc


Release Date: 03/28/2000 
Label:  Ondine   Catalog #: 936   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Soile IsokoskiJaakko Kortekangas
Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Philharmonic ChoirHelsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Sibelius completists will appreciate the chance to hear two "world premiere" recordings of cantatas written for celebratory events in Finland in 1894 and 1896. The first, a two-movement, 24-minute work for choir, soprano and baritone soloists, and orchestra, surely roused its audience of graduating students at the University of Helsinki in 1894 with its grand and bold style, opulent orchestral writing, and full-bodied choral and solo vocal declamations. More than a century later, it sounds overblown and overtly mannered--in the familiar style of German late-Romantic ceremonial works that the 29-year-old composer must have heard and perhaps consciously imitated. (The symphonies and the majority of Sibelius' finest tone poems would Read more not begin to appear for several more years.)

The other cantata, the so-called Coronation Cantata, is most interesting for its provenance as a tribute to the Grand Duke of Finland, Nicholas II. Behind its outward reverence for the Russian ruler are words of inspiration for Finns hopeful of freedom from long years of Russian oppression. The choral writing, which has moments of finely honed Brahmsian eloquence, is well-integrated into a prominent, very active, and colorful orchestral accompaniment. You're rewarded for your listening (as in the first cantata) with a really smashing ending. Still, the whole thing is firmly grounded in its time and occasion--a welcome and fascinating curiosity in the Sibelius oeuvre, but not really great music. The program is filled with three orchestral pieces--Sibelius' most famous work, Finlandia (1899), and two much later, much shorter, and very attractive occasional pieces. This is an impressive and noble effort on all counts, from the superb performances (the Finlandia is terrific) to the open, clear, detailed sound. Total Sibelius fans will want this. Others just looking for a fine Finlandia should check out Jarvi on BIS or DG.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1894 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Soile Isokoski (Soprano), Jaakko Kortekangas (Baritone)
Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Philharmonic Choir,  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Finland 
2.
Cantata for the Coronation of Nicholas II by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Philharmonic Choir,  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Finland 
3.
Academic March by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1919; Finland 
4.
Andante festivo for Strings and Timpani by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
Notes: Composition written: Finland (1922).
Composition revised: Finland (1938). 
5.
Finlandia, Op. 26 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Jaakko Kortekangas (Baritone), Soile Isokoski (Soprano)
Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Philharmonic Choir,  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
Notes: Composition written: Finland (1899 - 1900). 

Sound Samples

Promootiomarssi (Academic March)
Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1894, JS 105: Syntyi kun maailmat, luonto kun luotiin (When the planets were born, when nature was created)
Cantata for the Helsinki University ceremonies of 1894, JS 105: Kaskeksi korvet ne raadettiin (We tore down and burned the woods for fields)
Andante festivo (version for string orchestra)
Cantata for the Coronation of Nicholas II, JS 104: Terve nuori ruhtinas (Hail young prince)
Cantata for the Coronation of Nicholas II, JS 104: Oikeuden varmasa turvassa (In the sure security of justice)
Finlandia, Op. 26 (version for mixed chorus and orchestra)

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