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Sibelius: The Maiden In The Tower, Etc / Paavo Järvi, Et Al


Release Date: 03/12/2002 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 45493   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Lars-Erik JonssonLilli PaasikiviGarry MageeSolveig Kringelborn
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian State Symphony OrchestraEstonian National Male ChoirEllerhein Girls' Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews


The Maiden in the Tower is a fresh, tuneful, not-quite-fabulous one-act opera scarcely 35 minutes long. The plot could hardly be more rudimentary: the big bad bailiff has the hots for the (no-name) maiden. She rebuffs him and he locks her up in the tower of the title. Her boyfriend hears her calls for help and alerts the bailiff's boss, who dresses him down and makes him free the maiden, to general rejoicing. Sibelius wrote the opera in Swedish for some sort of Finnish lady's tea club (those were the days, eh?), expertly scoring it for smallish orchestra and using coloristic devices of the utmost simplicity--such as bass-drum rolls that last for minutes on end--to create tension and atmosphere. In
Read more its modest way, it works very well. Just about the only character that matters is that of the maiden, who has a wonderful "prayer aria", and Solveig Kringelborn assumes the role admirably. The remainder of the cast is similarly adroit, as is Paavo Järvi's leadership.

As for the remainder of the program, Järvi's direction of Pelléas and Mélisande, one of Sibelius' finest scores, is about as good as it gets. Tempos are ideally chosen: the opening At the Castle Gate has majesty without turning heavy; the eerie scene of Mélisande at her spinning wheel has an aptly sinister quality; and the sunny Entr'acte is vivacious without turning frantic. Mélisande's Death also has just the right touch of restraint, which makes the piece all the more moving. The orchestra plays marvelously both here and in the Valse triste, and the recording is excellent, making this an unusually desirable Sibelius disc that many music lovers will want to add to their collections. It lasted in the domestic catalog for about 12 seconds, and so it's particularly welcome in this on-demand Arkivmusic.com pressing, complete with original notes and full Swedish/English libretto (hooray!).

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Maiden in the Tower by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Lars-Erik Jonsson (Tenor), Lilli Paasikivi (Mezzo Soprano), Garry Magee (Baritone),
Solveig Kringelborn (Soprano)
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian State Symphony Orchestra,  Estonian National Male Choir,  Ellerhein Girls' Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Finland 
Date of Recording: 03/2001 
Venue:  Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn, Estonia 
Length: 36 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: Finnish 
2.
Kuolema: Valse triste, Op. 44 no 1 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1904; Finland 
Date of Recording: 03/2001 
Venue:  Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn, Estonia 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
3.
Pelléas et Mélisande, Op. 46 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1905; Finland 
Date of Recording: 03/2001 
Venue:  Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn, Estonia 
Length: 25 Minutes 46 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the tower): Overture
Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the tower): Scene 1
Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the tower): Scene 2
Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the tower): Scene 3
Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the tower): Scene 4
Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the tower): Scene 5
Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the tower): Scene 6
Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the tower): Scene 7
Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the tower): Scene 8
Pelléas et Mélisande - incidental music Op. 46: At the Castle Gate
Pelléas et Mélisande - incidental music Op. 46: Mélisande
Pelléas et Mélisande - incidental music Op. 46: At the Sea
Pelléas et Mélisande - incidental music Op. 46: By a spring in the park
Pelléas et Mélisande - incidental music Op. 46: The three blind sisters
Pelléas et Mélisande - incidental music Op. 46: Pastorale
Pelléas et Mélisande - incidental music Op. 46: Mélisande at the spinning wheel
Pelléas et Mélisande - incidental music Op. 46: Entr'acte
Pelléas et Mélisande - incidental music Op. 46: The death of Mélisande
Valse triste Op. 44 No. 1

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