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Sibelius: Jedermann; Two Serious Melodies; In memorium / Pia Pajala, soprano; Tuomas Katajala, tenor; Nicholas Soderland, bass; Milaela Palmu, violin. Turku PO, Segerstam

Audio Samples

Album Summary

>Sibelius, Jean : Everyman (Jokamies; Jedermann), incidental music for vocal soloists, chorus, piano, organ & orchestr
>Sibelius, Jean : Earnest melodies (2), for violin & orchestra, Op. 77
>Sibelius, Jean : In Memoriam, funeral march for orchestra, Op. 59
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Rarely performed but recognized as a hidden masterpiece, Sibelius's score for Jedermann is unusual in that the music closely follows the words and action of this morality play, intensifying Everyman's hubris, penance, escape from the Devil's clutches and ultimate salvation. The Two Serious Melodies reflect Sibelius' dark mood during the difficult years of World War I, while In memoriam resonates with his preoccupation with death in 1909 following a life-saving throat operation, and was performed at his own funeral in 1957.

Gramophone Magazine, September 2015
Segerstam's often daringly spacious conception absorbingly complements Vanska's splendid Lahti accont - diehard Sibelians will, I fancy, want to have both - while Turku PO member Mikaela Palmu responds with big-hearted dedication in the lovely Two Serious Melodies for violin and orchestra.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Turku Concert Hall, Turku, Finland (2014-01-20_2014-01-24&2014-).



Reviews

Excellent series continues
The latest installment of Naxos' Sibelius series features a rare and wonderful treasure -- the music from Hugo von Hofmannthal's play "Jedermann." "Jedermann" is a re-imagining of "Everyman," a medieval mystery play. The drama is an allegory of original sin and redemption, and Sibelius was inspired by the subject matter as he wrote.

Unfortunately, what Sibelius produced for the 1916 production wasn't really incidental music. It more closely resembled a movie score. Sibelius was very specific about how the play and music should be paced so that key dramatic elements coincided with musical climaxes. Easy to do on film, but difficult to do in live theater. Over time, Sibelius' music was dropped from the production, and all but forgotten.

Divorced from the stage action, as it is in this recording, the score to "Jedermann" works quite well. There's a natural dramatic pacing to the movements, each setting its scene while moving the drama along. The rich harmonies and orchestration are pure Sibelius. It's a shame he never made an orchestral suite of this music. But I'm glad that it's being made available once again through this recording.

The album also includes Two Serious Melodies for Violin and Orchestra. Violinist Mikaela Palmu's transparent performance lets the music come through in all its simplicity and beauty.

"In memoriam" was completed in 1910 although the themes were developed earlier, The bulk of the work was composed after Siblius' near-death bout with throat cancer. The somber music is so deeply personal in its contemplation of mortality that it seemed only fitting that it be performed at Sibelius' funeral. This performance brings out the meditative nature of the music without making it sound lugubrious.

This is the sixth Sibelius recording Leif Segerstam and the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra have done with Naxos. And like the previous five, it's one I've thoroughly enjoyed.
Submitted on 11/30/15 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Sibelius, Jean : Everyman (Jokamies; Jedermann), incidental music for vocal soloists, chorus, piano, organ & orchestr
  • Conductor: Leif Segerstam
  • Ensemble: Turku Philharmonic
  • Notes: Turku Concert Hall, Turku, Finland (2014-01-20_2014-01-24&2014-)
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1916

>Sibelius, Jean : Earnest melodies (2), for violin & orchestra, Op. 77
  • Performer: Mikaela Palmu (Violin)
  • Conductor: Leif Segerstam
  • Ensemble: Turku Philharmonic
  • Notes: Turku Concert Hall, Turku, Finland (2014-01-20_2014-01-24&2014-)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1914-1915

>Sibelius, Jean : In Memoriam, funeral march for orchestra, Op. 59
  • Conductor: Leif Segerstam
  • Ensemble: Turku Philharmonic
  • Notes: Turku Concert Hall, Turku, Finland (2014-01-20_2014-01-24&2014-)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1909