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Author Topic:   Sibelius
jpgordo
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posted December 27, 2000 10:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jpgordo   Click Here to Email jpgordo     Edit/Delete Message
Sibelius kicks ass! Who's with me?!

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PeopleHater
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posted December 28, 2000 02:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeopleHater     Edit/Delete Message
SPEAK ENGLISH!!!

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opus_125
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posted January 03, 2001 09:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for opus_125   Click Here to Email opus_125     Edit/Delete Message
Well well. Look what the cat dragged in. A topic on Sibelius. Have I already given away my opinion of that Finnish Fireball? In all fairness, he wrote one of the top 10 violin concertos ever written. Other than that - HACK!

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Boris_G
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posted January 24, 2001 03:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Boris_G     Edit/Delete Message
Hey, buster! I get pretty fed up with guys who insist that Sib was an infallible genius - they clearly haven't heard all his work. But have you heard Tapiola - a really terrific tone poem of being lost in a deep, hostile forest (forget Blair Witch Project!)? Or the Fifth Symphony? You can't write those off as hack work, and I suspect there's a heck of a lot more great stuff by him *I've* still to discover. Give them a listen and let's hear your opinion then.

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opus_125
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posted January 24, 2001 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for opus_125   Click Here to Email opus_125     Edit/Delete Message
The Tempest was the best tone poem and other than the Violin Concerto, the only work that I would stick in my bag of great music. His symphonies are lame attempts getting recognized as a major composer (something he dearly needed and would have done anything to get). Mahler didn't get half the attention or accolades that JS did during their own lifetimes. That's a crime in my view.

I won't be totally negative about the guy. He is, by far, Finland's greatest composer and if I want gloomy Scandanavian music on a dreary rainy afternooon (which I often do) - I'll go to Grief first but then Sibelius. I'm just more partial to the 20th Century Russian school, that's all.

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jpgordo
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posted January 24, 2001 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jpgordo   Click Here to Email jpgordo     Edit/Delete Message
I wouldn't consider his symphonies lame by any stretch of the imagination. The word "lame" means "lame" and that's not the right word for Sibelius at all. If Bruce Jenner wrote a Symphony, that would probably be lame. But not Sibelius.

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snufflegruff
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From:London, UK
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posted January 31, 2001 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for snufflegruff   Click Here to Email snufflegruff     Edit/Delete Message
I'm puzzled as to how Sibelius can be considered a hack after composing symphonies of the quality of 1, 2 & 5 - none of which are in any way gloomy. Granted, he lacked the intellectual power of Mahler or Tchaikovsky, probably because he lacked their nueroses. Finlandia stillraises the hairs on the back of my neck, especially performed live; Lemminkainan, Tapiola, The Tempest - all outstanding stuff in its own right.

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opus_125
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posted February 01, 2001 02:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for opus_125   Click Here to Email opus_125     Edit/Delete Message
I think Sibelius was a pretty neurotic guy. He was constantly (and I think too much) worried about where the next paycheck was coming from. He would rewrite to people's tastes, etc. (Oh, and I meant "Grieg" up in my previous post - Grief slipped out, must have Freudian.)

I agree that the 1st & 5th Symphonies are more uplifting and not gloomy at all. I'm not sure at all what he was trying to do or say with the 2nd Symphony. I thought it was a mess.

I think if any composer's 1st Symphony is super gloomy - you're going to have a rough ride throughout his/her career. When you're just starting out there's always at least a little hope in your ideology.

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jpgordo
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posted February 01, 2001 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jpgordo   Click Here to Email jpgordo     Edit/Delete Message
Was Tchaikovsky intelligent? Of course, he had to have a certain intelligence to compose the way he did, but did he have a profound intelligence that tormented him? I always have considered Tchaikovsky a sexually frustrated (ambiguous) man who wrote very popular works. I almost consider him the Andrew Lloyd Webber of his time. Before I am attacked, I must say that I haven't studied Pyotr that much, so I may be way off base. I just working from memory of the little snippets I have heard.

I'm going to give the 1st, 2nd and 5th another listen over the next couple days and will weigh in with my happy/gloomy opinion.

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Boris_G
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posted February 02, 2001 12:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Boris_G     Edit/Delete Message
Uh... was that about Sibelius or were you on the wrong thread?

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jpgordo
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posted February 03, 2001 07:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jpgordo   Click Here to Email jpgordo     Edit/Delete Message
snufflegruff raised the question about Tchaikovsky's intelligence a few posts back.

Keeping with the Scandanavian theme, what's everyone's favorite works by Nielsen? I'm on a whole Scanadanavian kick lately.

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FLeeBailey
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From:Boca Rotan, FL
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posted February 12, 2001 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FLeeBailey   Click Here to Email FLeeBailey     Edit/Delete Message
Sibelius a hack? You really must be joking. I think if he only wrote the 2nd Symphony he would be considered a great symphonist. Symphonies 4 through 7 are brilliant. Try listening to him this time. Really listen. You might have to turn down the TV to fully appreciate JS.

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EmilySachs
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From:Studio City, CA
Registered: Apr 2000

posted February 21, 2001 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for EmilySachs   Click Here to Email EmilySachs     Edit/Delete Message
For anyone intersted, this month's (February) Gramophone magazine has a Collector's spotlight on Sibelius' 6th Symphony. Sir Colin Davis's 1976 Philips recording is what I read to be the critics favorite.

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jpgordo
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posted February 23, 2001 10:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jpgordo   Click Here to Email jpgordo     Edit/Delete Message
I have Karajan with the Berliner Phil from about the mid 1980s. Where does that rank?

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Boris_G
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posted February 27, 2001 04:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Boris_G     Edit/Delete Message
I've finally dug out my February issue of Gramophone (we're about to receive April's here in the UK). I assume you've got Karajan's digital version, which apparently is no longer available, but Achenbach describes this performance as preferable to his two earlier analogue versions - "the mood is now purer, more Apollonian, and Karajan's conception overall is undeniably tauter than either of its analogue predecessors". But the recording itself takes some stick - "unpleasantly boomy and falling well short in bloom and transparency".

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