Congratulations to John Davis, president of Sibelius One, who has just celebrated 60 years’ membership of the Torbay Recorded Music Society at a gala dinner. He has been a committee member for 58 of those years, and is now its president.
Sibelius One’s treasurer Janet Abbotts was guest speaker at the gala. A special card was presented to John Davis on behalf of Sibelius One, and suitable music was played over the course of the evening, including the ‘Korpo’ Trio, Humoresqes for violin and orchestra, Violin Concerto, Finlandia and the Nocturne from the King Christian II Suite. There was a very large cake in blue and white, Finland’s colours, and 18 bottles of wine were presented, all wrapped up in the same colours.
At the end of 2014 I was approached by the management of BBC Radio 3 to kick off their forthcoming contributions to the 150th anniversary of Jean Sibelius. On Thursday 1st January, at around 8.10 am, I was interviewed by Clemency Burton-Hill and asked to introduce my personal pièce de resistance, the Nocturne from the King Christian II Suite, and to explain my adoration of this magnificent work. I said that it contained a big memorable tune, that the orchestration was outstanding, i.e. cantabile strings, woodwind in pairs (cf. for instance the start of the second movement of the Violin Concerto) and brass-orientated climaxes; in other words for me it’s ‘a total goose-pimple extravaganza’ (Clemency loved that expression). I particularly wanted them to use the recording by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä, as I had experienced them performing it ‘live’ at the 2003 Lahti Sibelius Festival. On top of that, I’d spoken at length to Osmo Vänskä about the merits of this glorious work overall the next day.
This can be found on the BBC Radio 3 website until 28th January 2015 – follow this link, and it starts around 01:40:40.
I wish all readers a wonderful 2015 and cannot wait to meet up with many of you for the ‘big one’ this year in Lahti.