Sibelius masterwerk

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RE: Sibelius masterwerk

JKH wrote:

...Robin Ray had an uncannily encyclopedic recall for Opus numbers.

And WoO numbers?

RE: Sibelius masterwerk

...And the K.Anh. (numbers), by the way?

Parla

RE: Sibelius masterwerk

BazzaRiley wrote:

JKH wrote:

...Robin Ray had an uncannily encyclopedic recall for Opus numbers.

And WoO numbers?

I'd imagine he had them tucked away in the memory bank in case of a nasty poser from Joseph, Baz!

JKH

JKH

RE: Sibelius masterwerk

Morning JKH!

Ah! You've just awakened memories alright with Face the Music, (though 'Greybeard' is a touch harsh. 'Gradually and gracefully turning grey' would be better). Early seventies. Monday night? Ray with Joyce Grenfell and Bernard Levin on the panel. It was the highlight of Monday for a 10 year old. I know, I need to get out more often!

Parla, can't help but thinking that some of Sibelius' piano pieces are very nice. It's easy to detect in them the same lean, economical, perhaps austere style as the symphonies are noted for. A world away from fiery, passionate, must-show-the-full-range-of emotions Schumann, for instance!

Fraz Jo - disapntd. Bn ringin this grl al week. No ansr...looks lke she changed her mnd. O well...Ldwg...

RE: Sibelius masterwerk

Hi Parla et al. Parla can I suggest you have a listen to the first of the 10 Bagatelles for piano by Sibelius op. 34 - 'Valse' (the only set I have of his piano music in sheet form). It's a lovely and very lean piece.

This might shed a bit of light Parla et al: in the editor's notes to this set, he (Fabian Dahlstrom) quotes Sibelius as saying; 'I am an orchestral man. You must judge me on the basis of my orchestral works. He added, 'I write piano pieces in my leisure time'.

The composer also said, 'Actually, the piano doesn't interest me since it can't sing (my italics). And I never go to piano concerts unless they are given by a true genius like my friend Busoni'.

Interesting insight into his view on the piano and on writing for it. I'm sure we'd all agree that Beethoven for one made the piano sing!

But, the editor also goes on to say that actually, piano music forms a fairly large part of Sibelius' oeuvre:

Sonata in F op. 12
Bagatelles op.34
Pensees Lyriques op. 40
Kylikki opus 41
Three Sonatinas op. 67
Two Rondinos op. 68
The collection op. 75 (titles referring to trees)
The collection op. 85 (titles referring to flowers)

'Sibelius' piano pieces', continues the editor, 'are not in the least banal or trifling. The composer's greatness reveals itself here too, even if these are only shavings from the work table of a symphonist'. He argues that his piano pieces are intimate and simple and show a preference for two-part textures (yes, lean).

(Naupilus the 7th symphony is a masterpiece yes. I also have a real fondness for no. 6 but like them all. And that book you mention sounds interesting).

Shame that the master never wrote a piano concerto, although apparently he was invited to do so...

Mark

Fraz Jo - disapntd. Bn ringin this grl al week. No ansr...looks lke she changed her mnd. O well...Ldwg...

RE: Sibelius masterwerk

partsong wrote:

Morning JKH!

Ah! You've just awakened memories alright with Face the Music, (though 'Greybeard' is a touch harsh. 'Gradually and gracefully turning grey' would be better). Early seventies. Monday night? Ray with Joyce Grenfell and Bernard Levin on the panel. It was the highlight of Monday for a 10 year old. I know, I need to get out more often!

Parla, can't help but thinking that some of Sibelius' piano pieces are very nice. It's easy to detect in them the same lean, economical, perhaps austere style as the symphonies are noted for. A world away from fiery, passionate, must-show-the-full-range-of emotions Schumann, for instance!

Well for some timeI've been trying to persuade Mission Control that she appears to be unable to distinguish between grey and a rather fetching blond which is a throwback to my Viking heritage. She hasn't bought it so far.

Yes, I was a similarly sad (if slightly older) schoolboy for whom a classical music quiz show was an eagerly awaited highlight of the week. They had an incredible roster of guests, hardly imaginable these days, as indeed would be the show itself.

One can imagine Bob Newhart doing a routine - "What, you mean it's a show all about classical music where people just sit and listen and answer questions? How big are the prizes, there are prizes, right? There aren't any prizes? It's got an A list presenter, though, right? What do you mean he's a pianist? What does he play? A wooden keyboard that just clatters? Er,we'll ring you back..."

Bernard Levin was a starnge cove, and a friend of mine loathed him with a passion. One of his most treasured moments was when Levin, the self-professed Wagner fanatic, failed to recognise the Dawn music from Gotterdammerung.

JKH

JKH

RE: Sibelius masterwerk

Hi JKH! Viking heritage throwback I like that.

Yes it's a shame isn't it, we would probably not get such a good programme now in these days of open mouth and sing contests and big money rewards gameshows.

Oh well, thankfully, aka our discussion recently on the Proms, Auntie Beeb is televising 28 this summer...Not a bad number.

Mark

Fraz Jo - disapntd. Bn ringin this grl al week. No ansr...looks lke she changed her mnd. O well...Ldwg...

RE: Sibelius masterwerk

Mark, Naupilus, when I say "uneven", I do not mean it is trash, rubbish or music to discard.

The fact that a Piano Trio is a pleasure to listen, it does not mean that it is even close to some great music. Of course, some or more piano pieces are very nice to perform or to listen. My question is that out of a production of 11 CDs of Chamber Music and another 5 for the music for Violin and Piano (a stunning production in quantity) and 10 CDs for Piano Music, how many works do manage to gain a certain degree of reputation, to stay in the repertory, to be memorable and so on? I can mention only the marvelous "Voces Intimae" and, to a lesser degree, the Piano Quintet (in any case, less known, performed and appreciated).

In my first post, I just said how surprised I was when, eventually, I got the complete output of his opus, on 69 CDs in 13 Volumes on BIS, and realised that there was not much to add to the already well-known Sibelius. In any case, he was an orchestral music man and he excelled there...mostly.

Still, he was such a master of the orchestral music that none can claim he is or should be underrated. He is revered and appreciated as he deserves to be for that matter.

Parla

RE: Sibelius masterwerk

parla wrote:

By the way, I wonder, when you say 100 works of Beethoven are of less interest to listen to, you mean 100 opus works out of the 137 of the total output of the composer.

Parla

The 300 in the Hess catalogue of course. So how I got the 100 is I took a third of 300. What you do Parla is you divide 300 by 3. If you need a calculator I have a couple spare.

RE: Sibelius masterwerk

Perhaps Parla we (we the music loving public that is) need to explore Sibelius' other music (than the symphonies and tone poems) more. When you said that he wrote a lot of minor indifferent compositions that didn't exactly chime with my view on the Bagatelles.

I'm amazed that the chamber music constitutes such a large part of his opus as you mention (10CD's of piano music).

Sometimes perceptions of artists gradually change over time, eg Thomas Hardy for a good long while was admired primarily as a novelist, it is only in recent(ish) years that his poetry has come to be highly valued also. Maybe in time Sibelius might be recognized more as a writer of high quality chamber music...

Mark 

Fraz Jo - disapntd. Bn ringin this grl al week. No ansr...looks lke she changed her mnd. O well...Ldwg...

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