Programme of the disc: Four Pieces, Op. 78 · Andante cantabile, JS 33 Five Pieces, Op. 81 · Danses champêtres, Op. 106 Four Pieces, Op. 115 · Three Pieces, Op. 116
Resonus Classics RES 10294
This recording is supported by Sibelius One, in memory of George Steven.
We have a limited number of copies of this CD available for purchase by current members of Sibelius One at a heavily discounted price of £7.50 including p&p (UK only). We regret that the massive increase in administrative and customs formalities as a result of Brexit mean that we are currently unable to deliver to the EU or rest of the world. Supplies are strictly limited and orders will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here for Members’ Discount page.
Joseph Tong writes: ‘The idea [for this disc] occurred quite randomly and spontaneously when Fenella and I met at the Presteigne Festival back in 2015. We were staying with the same host family and the conversation I remember quite naturally gravitated towards Sibelius, no surprises there of course, and we decided to meet up every so often to set in motion a Sibelius project and enjoy exploring all the amazing repertoire… The sets of pieces for violin and piano are curiously neglected, yet absolutely wonderful as we discovered. It was a pleasure to record them in the warm acoustic of Cedars Hall at Wells Cathedral School… the recording dates in late-October 2020 fell just before the next period of Covid restrictions. Not having many live concerts around that time made the whole experience of Sibelius immersion even more special.’
The Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s 23rd Sibelius Festival will be held at the Sibelius Hall in Lahti from 31 August to 4 September 2022, with Dalia Stasevska, chief conductor of the orchestra, as its artistic director. The festival will be opened by an international guest appearance of the highest calibre, when the Estonian Festival Orchestra, consisting of European musicians, will perform on Wednesday 31 August, conducted by the renowned Estonian conductor Paavo Järvi.
The Lahti Symphony Orchestra will give three concerts at the festival conducted by Dalia Stasevska. The theme of the orchestral concert on Thursday, 1 September 2022, is ‘Flora and Fauna’, and the concert will feature Pan and Echo, the concert suite from Pelléas et Mélisande, The Wood-Nymph (melodrama) and Snöfrid.
The programmes for the orchestral concerts on Friday 2 September and Saturday 3 September were originally chosen by Jean Sibelius himself. ‘In Sibelius’s time, it was typical that the première of the new work took place in a concert organized by the composer himself. This allowed composers to present their other works as well. Sibelius was especially careful to ensure that his premières took place at concerts where the repertoire consisted exclusively of his own compositions’, explains Stasevska, and continues: ‘The Friday and Saturday orchestral concerts at the Sibelius Festival are programmes chosen by Sibelius himself from 1911 and 1927. These included the Finnish premières of the Fourth and Seventh Symphonies and Tapiola. These reconstructed concerts allow us an interesting glimpse into the music of Sibelius as presented by the composer himself.
As an innovation, a family concert, ‘Melody Forest’, will also be included in the festival programme, on the afternoon of Saturday 3 September. The festival concludes with another new kind of collaboration, at Lahti Church of the Cross on Sunday morning, 4 September, with a Keski-Lahti parish church service, the musical content of which focuses on the music of Sibelius.
The festival will also feature a piano recital, and the concerts are complemented by other events such as pre-concert talks. Further details of the festival programme will be announced later and ticket sales will start in February (date to be announced) via the ticket agency Lippupiste.
Breitkopf & Härtel has released more works by Sibelius in authoritative editions.
The critical JSW edition of Symphony No. 6 is now available, edited by Kai Lindberg. The catalogue number is SON 633 and the price is €140.00. To quote Breitkopf & Härtel’s website: ‘Symphony, symphonic poem, fantasy, or something else entirely different? For a long time while working on the Sixth Symphony, Sibelius was not certain what his new orchestral work was now about to become or what to call it. He had to interrupt work on the symphony time and again during the Finnish civil war and because of financial difficulties that forced him to earn a living with “little things”. So, it is not surprising that many small ideas for other works repeatedly culminated in the Sixth. In a letter to a friend, he describes his early ideas for the work: “The 6th symphony is wild and turbulent in character. Gloomy with pastoral contrasts. Probably in 4 movements with a conclusion growing into a dark orchestral shower in which the main theme drowns.”’ Details and order page: click here.