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The Unknown Sibelius - Rarities & First Recordings

Sibelius / Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 07/30/2013 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 2065  
Composer:  Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Jorma HynninenFolke GräsbeckPeter LönnqvistJyrki Lasonpalo,   ... 
Conductor:  Okko KamuOsmo VänskäRobert SundSeppo Murto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony OrchestraDominante ChoirOrphei Drängar
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This nicely varied selection of little-known Sibelius contains four orchestral works, 7 songs and choruses, two chamber pieces, and four piano works. Some of it, such as the late Four Fragments for orchestra and most of the vocal pieces, is ephemeral indeed, but there are some fairly substantial works here as well. The two chamber pieces, a charming Serenade for string trio, and the incidental music to the symbolist play The Lizard (Ödlan), are interesting and important. Finland Awakes, an interim version of Finlandia, features the big hymn tune played complete at the end (first sound clip). Had the very last bars been less perfunctory, this could well be the preferred way to hear the work.

The original version of The
Read more Oceanides is also fascinating. Sibelius completely revised and extended it between initial composition and first performance. In its original form it had more of a rondo shape, justifying its original title: Rondo of the Waves. The revised version, on the other hand, follows Sibelius’ characteristic tone-poem shape of sonata form without development (that is, ABA’B'). That fabulous, huge climax toward the end is completely missing from the first version, as is the poetic coda. Although some thematic ideas are shared, the two works might as well be independent pieces.

The two outstanding piano pieces are the very ample Impromptu in B minor and a heartfelt Adagio dedicated to the composer’s wife, Aino. As previously mentioned, the Four Fragments, idiomatically orchestrated from Sibelius’ sketches by Timo Virtanen (second clip), are musically tantalizing but too short to tell us anything beyond the fact that they sound like Sibelius. The program ends with the impressive orchestral Processional arranged by Sibelius from his Musique religieuse (originally for tenor and harmonium). The performances, drawn from BIS’s generally wonderful complete Sibelius edition, are uniformly terrific, and so are the sonics. Essential for serious Sibelians.

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

1.
Oceanides, Op. 73 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Okko Kamu,  Osmo Vänskä
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1914; Finland 
2.
Finland Awakes by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Okko Kamu,  Osmo Vänskä
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1899; Finland 
3.
Fragments (4) for Orchestra by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Okko Kamu,  Osmo Vänskä
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930-1957 
4.
Masonic Ritual Music, Op. 113: Processional by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Okko Kamu,  Osmo Vänskä
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
5.
Jonah's voyage by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Robert Sund,  Seppo Murto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dominante Choir,  Orphei Drängar
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Finland 
6.
Fridolin's folly by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Robert Sund,  Seppo Murto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dominante Choir,  Orphei Drängar
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1917; Finland 
7.
Italian Folk Song Arrangements by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Jorma Hynninen (Baritone)
Conductor:  Robert Sund,  Seppo Murto
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dominante Choir,  Orphei Drängar
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Finland 
8.
Andantino in D major "Till Emma Kristina Marie-Louise Berndtson – Lulu" by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Folke Gräsbeck (Piano), Peter Lönnqvist (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1889 
9.
Impromptu for Piano in B minor by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Folke Gräsbeck (Piano), Peter Lönnqvist (Piano)
10.
Adagio for Piano in E major, JS 13 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Folke Gräsbeck (Piano), Peter Lönnqvist (Piano)
11.
Adagio for Piano 4 hands, JS 161 "To my beloved Aino" by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Folke Gräsbeck (Piano), Peter Lönnqvist (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1931; Finland 
12.
Serenata, JS 169 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Jyrki Lasonpalo (Violin), Jaakko Kuusisto (Violin), Laura Vikman (Violin),
Taneli Turunen (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887 
13.
Odlan, Op. 8 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Taneli Turunen (Cello), Laura Vikman (Violin), Jaakko Kuusisto (Violin),
Jyrki Lasonpalo (Violin), Eero Munter (Double Bass)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1909 
14.
Tanken, JS 192 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Folke Gräsbeck (Piano), Peter Lönnqvist (Piano),
Monica Groop (Mezzo Soprano)
15.
Jag kysser dig [och ledsnar] ej by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Peter Lönnqvist (Piano), Folke Gräsbeck (Piano), Helena Juntunen (Soprano)
16.
Come, my Sweetheart by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Peter Lönnqvist (Piano), Folke Gräsbeck (Piano), Gabriel Suovanen (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Finland 

Sound Samples

Finland Awakes (preliminary version of Finlandia)
The Oceanides, Op. 73 (Yale version)
Jag kysser dig ej (I Kiss You and Weary Not)
Tule, tule, kultani (Come, my Sweetheart), JS 211
Tanken (The Thought), JS 192
Italian Folk-songs, JS 99: No. 1. Ohi, Caroli!
Italian Folk-songs, JS 99: No. 2. Trippole Trappole
Fridolins darskap (Fridolin's Folly), JS 84
Jone havsfard (Jonah's Voyage), JS 100
Serenata, JS 169
Odlan, Op. 8: Scene 1
Odlan, Op. 8: Scene 2
Andantino in D Major
Impromptu in B Minor
Adagio in E Major, JS 13
Rakkaalle Ainolle (To My Beloved Aino), JS 161
4 Orchestral Fragments: HUL 1325
4 Orchestral Fragments: HUL 1326/9
4 Orchestral Fragments: HUL 1326/10
4 Orchestral Fragments: HUL 1327
Processional, Op. 113, No. 6 (version for orchestra)

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