A new edition of the Six Humoresques, Opp. 87 & 89, has been released by Fennica Gehrman. The new edition is for violin and piano, and is based on the Urtext of the orchestral version. The solo part is corrected and amended according to the composer’s manuscripts. Misprints and misinterpretations found in earlier editions have been corrected.
Sibelius composed the Humoresques in 1917–18 and, as his biographer Erik Tawaststjerna observed, they capture ‘the lyrical, dancing soul of the violin’. Sibelius himself remarked that they show ‘the anguish of existence… fitfully lit up by the sun’. They were originally for violin and orchestra but have also been performed in an earlier piano reduction by Karl Ekman – about which, however, Sibelius wrote: ‘The piano arrangemenrs by Karl Ekman are not good. They give a wholly false impression of the Humoresques.’
Rather than using the Ekman version, Jani Kyllönen has made a completely new piano reduction for this edition, following the orchestral texture closely.
The event comprises two symphony concerts, a chamber performance and a song recital, and will feature a number of top-rank Finnish musicians.
Jukka-Pekka Saraste will conduct the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in the two orchestral concerts, with soloists Helena Juntunen (soprano) and Pekka Kuusisto (violin). Jukka-Pekka Saraste will also appear as a guest speaker.
Works performed at the orchestral concerts are Symphonies Nos 1, 3 and 4, Finlandia, the Humoresques for violin and orchestra, Luonnotar and Höstkväll.
The song recital is by Helena Juntunen with pianist Eveliina Kytömäki. The chamber performance features Pekka Kuusisto (violin), Heini Kärkkäinen (piano), Ilona Korhonen (vocals) and Pauliina Syrjälä (kantele), and combines music for violin and piano by Sibelius with Finnish folk music.
The chamber performance and first orchestral concert take place on Friday 17 May, at 17.00 and 20.15 respectively.
The song recital and second orchestral concert are on Sunday 19 May, at 13.00 and 14.15 respectively.