Lance's program 12 Dec. 2015: Historical Sibelius!

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Lance
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Lance's program 12 Dec. 2015: Historical Sibelius!

Post by Lance » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:43 am

Jean Sibelius, composer, Part I of II


December 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of composer JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957). Record companies are doing him justice in remembering the composer with mega-box releases such as the 8-CD set with Ormandy (which did not include ALL of his Sibelius recordings for Columbia or RCA, unfortunately), and Warner Classics, who picked up a project started by EMI with a wonderful array of historical Sibelius recordings made between 1928 and 1945 (on a 7-CD set) with many famous musicians from the past. The latter included remarkable recordings of several of the composer's orchestral works conducted by his friend and colleague, Robert Kajanus. The sound of these electrical 78-rpm discs, even to this day, is excellent and most assuredly radio-worthy.

Information about Sibelius abounds, so rather than to explore it here, I note that I am preparing TWO broadcasts comprised of ONLY Sibelius' music insofar as historical recordings are concerned. The programs will not be heard in succession; the first will be aired on Saturday, December 12, 2015, this being done to have a broadcast or two of special Christmas music as I generally do each year. The other Sibelius tribute will be announced here later.

PROGRAM I - Saturday, December 12, 2015

ALL MUSIC BY JEAN SIBELIUS:
• Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 39 w/Royal Philharmonic Society Orchestra, Robert Kajanus, conductor (r.1930)
• Luonnotar, Op. 70 w/Helmi Liukkonen, soprano; Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Georg Schnéevoigt, conductor (r.1934 live)
• Romance in D-flat Major, Op. 24/9 for piano w/Eileen Joyce, piano (r.1939)
• Romance in F Major, Op. 78/2 w/Emil Telmányi, violin; Gerald Moore, piano (r.1935)

PROGRAM II - Date and program to be announced.

Click here for the radio link:
www.http://wpel.streamon.fm/

The program can be heard anywhere in the world as long as you have a computer with speakers and adjust your time schedule to equate to 7:00 p.m. Eastern time. My usual descriptive dialogue about the artist or subject matter precedes the musical content.

I hope you will enjoy these programs honoring composer JEAN SIBELIUS in historical recordings, which is heard all over the world via the Internet at the above-listed URL. •
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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John F
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Re: Lance's program 12 Dec. 2015: Historical Sibelius!

Post by John F » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:22 am

For your second program, I'm sure you are considering the one recording of Sibelius himself conducting: the Andante Festivo, dating from January 1, 1939. I just learned, however, that two different recordings have been published with that attribution and only one of them is actually conducted by Sibelius. I didn't make a note of it at the time and don't remember offhand which is which, but if I saw it once, no doubt I can see it again.
++
I'll put a word in for a great recording of the 2nd symphony, one which my parents owned and I grew up with: Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony, their first recording made in 1935. This remains the most exciting Sibelius 2 I've ever heard, not just because Koussevitzky's tempos are on the fast side but also because of the BSO's brilliant virtuosity and Koussevitzky's passionate engagement with the music. At the time RCA Victor was making magnificent-sounding orchestral recordings - Toscanini and the New York Philharmonic, Stokowski and the Philadelphia - and their 1950 remake with Koussevitzky does not put the earlier one in the shade. Here it is on YouTube, perhaps uploaded from the Naxos reissue:







John Francis

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Re: Lance's program 12 Dec. 2015: Historical Sibelius!

Post by Lance » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:54 pm

Fine recommendations, John! I have both, the 1935 and 1950 Sibelius Symphony #2 w/the BSO under Koussevitzky recorded just prior to his passing. The first recording I ever heard of the Second was this Koussevitzky; I have never heard a performance like this and it sticks in my mind to this day and is my preferred recording of anything after 1950. I certainly will consider either the 1935 or 1950 performance of the Second. Also, in the new Warner historical set is Sibelius conducting the Andante Festivo and I expect to use that as well. Depends on how the timing works out. Fact is, I should have allowed three programs in his honor. (I may do just that, too!) Always good to hear from you.

[quote="John F"]For your second program, I'm sure you are considering the one recording of Sibelius himself conducting: the Andante Festivo, dating from January 1, 1939. I just learned, however, that two different recordings have been published with that attribution and only one of them is actually conducted by Sibelius. I didn't make a note of it at the time and don't remember offhand which is which, but if I saw it once, no doubt I can see it again.
++
I'll put a word in for a great recording of the 2nd symphony, one which my parents owned and I grew up with: Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony, their first recording made in 1935. This remains the most exciting Sibelius 2 I've ever heard, not just because Koussevitzky's tempos are on the fast side but also because of the BSO's brilliant virtuosity and Koussevitzky's passionate engagement with the music. At the time RCA Victor was making magnificent-sounding orchestral recordings - Toscanini and the New York Philharmonic, Stokowski and the Philadelphia - and their 1950 remake with Koussevitzky does not put the earlier one in the shade. Here it is on YouTube, perhaps uploaded from the Naxos reissue:
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

IN278S
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Re: Lance's program 12 Dec. 2015: Historical Sibelius!

Post by IN278S » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:26 pm

John F wrote:For your second program, I'm sure you are considering the one recording of Sibelius himself conducting: the Andante Festivo, dating from January 1, 1939. I just learned, however, that two different recordings have been published with that attribution and only one of them is actually conducted by Sibelius. I didn't make a note of it at the time and don't remember offhand which is which, but if I saw it once, no doubt I can see it again.
The one that runs around six minutes is the one that's definitely conducted by the composer. An Ondine CD is, as far as I'm aware, the only widely available commercial issue of this performance, unless the new Warner set has the six-minute version. The one originally issued on LP by World Record Club runs around seven minutes. It comes from a disc in the Finnish radio archives, and it's been conjecturally attributed to Toivo Haapanen. Symposium's "Ionisation" CD compilation has this version. Both versions certainly qualify as "Historical Sibelius" so either one would be appropriate for Lance's program.

John F
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Re: Lance's program 12 Dec. 2015: Historical Sibelius!

Post by John F » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:07 am

Thanks very much for digging that out and for the details. I guess I don't have the Real Thing, but fortunately it's been uploaded to YouTube, if this is it (timing 6:21 including applause):



Also online is a recording purporting to be Sibelius's rehearsal before the broadcast, though he doesn't arrive until 4 minutes into the tape, leaving 2 minutes of rehearsal (only a few seconds of actual playing):

John Francis

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Re: Lance's program 12 Dec. 2015: Historical Sibelius!

Post by Seán » Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:14 pm

Splendid choice Lance, I am looking forward to your tribute to Jean Sibelius.
Seán

"To appreciate the greatness of the Masters is to keep faith in the greatness of humanity." - Wilhelm Furtwängler

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Re: Lance's program 12 Dec. 2015: Historical Sibelius!

Post by Lance » Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:13 pm

Seán, so great to hear from you. You have no idea (as I've said before) how wonderful it is to know that there are people on the other side of the "pond" that hear this program, even at bewitching hours. I am hearing from some of them. One never knows who is listening out there!

Hope you and yours are preparing for a splendid Christmas season. One of these days I hope to get to Ireland - and finally get to meet you and the family.

All best!
Seán wrote:Splendid choice Lance, I am looking forward to your tribute to Jean Sibelius.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

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