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Seriously Sibelius / Vänskä, Ylönen, Kuusisto, Lahti So


Release Date: 10/31/2006 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1485   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Marko YlönenJaakko Kuusisto
Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Given that this is the 72nd BIS title dedicated to Sibelius, ‘Seriously Sibelius’ might be interpreted as a reference to the label’s commitment to the Finnish master. There is, however, also a serious touch to the music on this disc, particularly the work which opens and closes it. The funeral march In memoriam, which is here presented in both its first and final versions, was inspired by the death of Eugen Schauman, who committed suicide after having assassinated Nikolai Bobrikov, the Russian governor-general of Finland, in 1904. The Two Serious Melodies, first published in versions for violin, are heard here in the cello versions that Sibelius made for a cellist friend, and which were used at the first performance of the pieces. Read more Lemminkäinen in Tuonela (the third movement of the composer’s Lemminkäinen Suite, here in a reconstruction of the original 1896 version) also tells of grave matters: the violent death of a hero from the Finnish Kalevala legends, and his resurrection by magic. But the disc includes lighter moments as well, such as Humoresque No.1 (in its original version) and Valse chevaleresque, which at least the wife of Sibelius regarded – and therefore disliked – as a product of her husband’s late nights in Helsinki’s fashionable drinking establishments. The varied programme, which includes world premières, is performed with accustomed expertise and dedication by Lahti Symphony Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä, aided by soloists Marko Ylönen and Jaakko Kuusisto, who have both appeared on a number of previous BIS recordings. Read less

Works on This Recording

1. In memoriam, Op. 59 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
Length: 11 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: 1909 and 1910 versions. 
2. Pieces (2) for Violin/Cello and Orchestra, Op. 77 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Marko Ylönen (Cello)
Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1914; Finland 
Length: 8 Minutes 32 Secs. 
3. Presto for Strings by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Finland 
Length: 6 Minutes 45 Secs. 
4. Lemminkäinen Suite, Op. 22: no 2, Lemminkäinen in Tuonela by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Finland 
Length: 22 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: Reconstructed 1896 version, based on the performing edition by Colin Davis (2004). 
5. Humoresques (6) for Violin and Orchestra: no 1 in D minor, Op. 87 no 1 by Jean Sibelius
Performer:  Jaakko Kuusisto (Violin)
Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1917; Finland 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: Composer: Jean Sibelius. 
6. Pieces (3) for Orchestra, Op. 96 by Jean Sibelius
Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1919-1920; Finland 
Length: 13 Minutes 46 Secs. 

Sound Samples

In memoriam, Op. 59: (1st version 1909)
2 Pieces, Op. 77: No. 1. Cantique (Laetare anima mea): Moderato assai
2 Pieces, Op. 77: No. 2. Devotion (Ab imo pectore): Tempo molto moderato
String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 4 (arr. for orchestra): String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 4: III. Scherzo: Presto (arr. for string orchestra)
Lemminkainen Suite, Op. 22: III. Lemminkainen in Tuonela (reconstructed 1896 version)
Humoresques, Op. 87: Humoresque No. 1 in D minor, Op. 87, No. 1 (1st version 1917)
3 Pieces, Op. 96: No. 1. Valse lyrique, Op. 96a
3 Pieces, Op. 96: No. 2. Autrefois, Op. 96b
3 Pieces, Op. 96: No. 3. Valse chevaleresque, Op. 96c
In memoriam, Op. 59: (revised version 1910)

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