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.
Sibelius is Composer of the Week on BBC Radio 3 in the week beginning Monday 12 February 2018. Donald Macleod will present a series of hour-long programmes exploring Sibelius’s life and work each weekday at 12.00.
Tuesday: ‘From Happiness to Despair’
Kullervo’s Death · Impromptu in B minor · The Swan of Tuonela · Symphony No. 1 (finale) · Malinconia
Wednesday: ‘Drowning Sorrows’
Finlandia Hymn · Symphony No. 2 (finale) · In memoriam · Pohjola’s Daughter · The Maiden with the Roses (Swanwhite)
Thursday: ‘A Mountain to be Climbed’
Valse triste · Symphony No. 4 · The Bells of Kallio Church · Symphony No. 5 (finale)
Friday: ‘A Mystery at the End’
Two Schybergson songs · Symphony No. 6 · Chorus of the Winds; Prospero; Dance Episode (The Tempest) · Andante festivo · Sydämeni laulu
Presenter Donald Macleod was educated in Glasgow and at St Andrew’s University where he studied psychology. He began his career as a presenter in 1982 on BBC Radio 3 and for BBC1’s 60 minutes as a TV reporter and newsreader.
The programmes will be available on BBC iPlayer shortly after broadcast.
Our New Year Quiz 2018 is a Sibelius-themed word square. Hidden in the grid are 34 ‘answers’ – names, work titles, places etc. Words can run in any direction, also backwards and diagonally. How many can you find?
Best wishes for a very happy Christmas and prosperous new year from Sibelius One!
We hope that you’ll be able to join us for the 2018 Sibelius Festival in Lahti. Dates and programmes have now been announced, and it’ll be an exciting event including a visit from Neeme Järvi and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra – so if you’re interested, please get in touch and make a provisional reservation. Click here for more information about Lahti 2018.
And why not treat yourself and your friends to an extra Christmas present? We recommend our new CD with Hedvig Paulig (winner of the 2011 International Sibelius Singing Competition) and Folke Gräsbeck – hear this superb singer on top form in an all-Sibelius programme. As a member, you even get a discount! Click here for more information about the CD.
The January 2018 issue of Sibelius One’s full-colour magazine is currently in preparation, with a selection of articles and contributions from eminent authors and scholars plus a listing of major new CD releases. Subscribers will receive the magazine in January.
To receive your magazine, make sure you select the ‘printed copies’ option when joining Sibelius One (just £5 for two issues).
If you would like to add the magazine to your existing subscription, or to purchase individual copies (£5 each plus postage – also available to non-members) please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Highlights of the forthcoming issue:
Sibelius’s music for ‘Everyman’ Eija Kurki
Sibelius and Busoni Ernest Pauwels
The Spell of Italy John Grimshaw
Jean Sibelius. Un Finlandais en France Peter Frankland
And the Sounds are Godlike: The Symphonies of Sibelius (Part Two) Leon Chia