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King Christian 11

 
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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:44 am    Post subject: King Christian 11 Reply with quote

Anyone else enjoy this music. The first English performance was at an Henry Wood Promenade concert in 1901, with Sibelius present. Some of Sibs incidental music is not as effective in concert, when removed from the action of the play. But I think King Christian is most succesful. Sibelius did amplify the orchestration of the Nocturne, Serenade and Ballade when he drew up the Suite. My favourite recording is still Alexander Gibson and the Scottish Nat. Orchestra, on a great LP from 1967 and also includes Karelia Overture, The Bard and Festivo. Gibson was a much underated Sibelian.--kullervopete.

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Tapkaara
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes! King Christian II is light but delicious. It's certainly some of his best incidental music and stands alone very well as a concert suite.

There is a newish recording of it on Naxos with the New Zealand S.O. conducted by a young Finn, Pietari Inkinen. (This recording also contains the two Scenes Historiques suites.) It's excellent!

I've not heard the Gisbon recording. I also have a recordining of KCII with Jussi Jalas and the Hungarians. The Inkinen recording sounds preferable in every way to my ears.

I've always been fascinated that Sibbe originally wanted to use a bagpipe in one of the movements. As a piper myself, I would be floored to hear a true Sibelian pipe tune!

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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes indeed! Sibelius told Adolf Paul that the charming Musette should be for bagpipes and reeds, but I've scored it for two clarinets and two bassoons. Extravagant, isn't it? We have only two bassoon players in the entire country, and one of them is consumptive. But my music won't be too hard on him-we'll see to that.
No doubt about it, if bassoon players were so hard to find in Finland at this time then what hope of finding a piper. As a matter of interest Tapkaara, what led you to take up the bagpipes?--kullervopete.

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Andrew B
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:23 am    Post subject: Re: King Christian 11 Reply with quote

kullervopete wrote:
Sibelius did amplify the orchestration of the Nocturne, Serenade and Ballade when he drew up the Suite.

A fine score, no question, and I also enjoy the new Inkinen recording very much. But if I you'll permit me to clarify the above: the Nocturne, Serenade and Ballade were composed in the summer of 1898, some months after the original production, and although they are scored for a larger orchestra than the other movements, Sibelius didn't add anything to the orchestration of these movements when preparing the suite. Actually he made cuts in the Ballade (shortening a rather directionless fugal section - but this again didn't affect the orchestration). These three movements were first played in the theatre some days after the concert suite was premičred. The only movement in which he amplified the orchestration was actually the Musette, which gained strings accompaniment.

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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 'Times' review of Woods performance at the 1901 Proms is interesting 'On Saturday the legend 'first time'was afixed to two works. Of these the more important in size was a Suite of incidental music by M. Jean Sibelius, a Fin[n] to Adolf Pauls comedy King Christian 11. But the musical interest was in inverse ratio to the size... the Elegy in Mr Sibelius's Suite was its most strikingly pleasant feature, though ones sensibility was, perhaps, harder hit by the contrast afforded by the Musette attached to it'.
No wonder Sibelius made his famous remark about critics, and King Christian a comedy, I dont think so--its much more of a tragedy and concerns the love of the Monarch of Sweden, Norway and Denmark for a Dutch girl [Dyveke] of common birth. Sibelius wrote some georgous music, I think that the 'Serenade' contains one of his most beautiful melodies, but I keep trying to imagine the musette played on the bagpipes!--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always been fascinated by the sound of pipes. They are mysterious, barbaric, strange...all qualities that make for great music! It's just one of those things were you say "Gee, I wish I could do that!" and you went ahead and did it!

I don't play nearly as much as I used to...and I used to be pretty good. These days I can play any of the more simple music in my sleep, but harder types of music (jigs, hornpipes, etc.) require practice.

I play Scottish highland pipes, but this type of bagpipe, no doubt, was not the instrument Sibbe had in mind for the Musette. Many people don't know that many of the world's cultures at one time or another had a type of bagpipe in their musical arsenal. Smaller, quiter types of bagpipes certainly existed all through Europe, Scandinavia included. I'm sure it's on of these types of instruments Sibbe intended for this movement.

Musette is an interesting word. It's obviously French and means something like "sack." This makes sense for a bagpipe. "Musette" is also the name of the distinctive style of French accordion playing. The proper French word for bagpipe is "cornemuse."

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if anyone has actually tried to play the King Christian II Musette on bagpipes… if not, Tapkaara, I spot a window of opportunity (maybe a sound clip here on the forum?).

That's a great quote about King Christian II being a 'comedy'. Journalists could evidently get it wrong even before Wikipedia! Mind you, I'm not surprised that the play itself hasn't made too much impact - it has its moments but, hey, it doesn't have me rolling in the aisles laughing in the same way as Macbeth or Hamlet

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Kurkikohtaus
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If said sound clip is produced, said sound clip should be sent to me by e-mail and said sound clip will replace the "Welcome Sound" from the 7th.
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Tapkaara
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, if anyone has sheet music for the musette, let me know. There would be some transposing and arranging involved, but I can do it, I'm sure.

By the way, a friend of mine arranged the Finlandia hymn for bagpipes a few years ago and it sounds pretty darn good. I don't have the music for it, but I'm sure I could do an arrangement for it myself. But this "musette project" sounds pretty interesting!!!

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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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I wonder if the Swedish Bagpipes above were what Sibelius had in mind when he wrote his Musette. I certainly hope that Tapkaara can record it on his pipes.--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great photo, Pete!

Many of the world's bagpipes are small, at leat in comparison to the Scottish variety. I'm sure that is exactly the type of instrument Sibbe originally had in mind for the musette. It would have had a very mellow, "woody" sound.

Andrew B is going to furnish me with the sheet music for the musette and I should be able to do this. I've already begun playing around with the main tune on the pipes and it translates fairly well. Of course, on Highland pipes it will be "bigger" and louder than what Sibbe had in mind, but hey...at least we'll get a rough idea of what it sounds like on pipes!

This is me from a few years ago...



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tapkaara, I can only say Hoots Man!
Seriously, Have you heard a great piece by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies [Master of the Queens music] I am thinking of his orchestral work 'An Orkney wedding, with Sunrise'.
It depicts the all night celebrations after a wedding on Orkney [Scotland] and closes with the entry of a piper which Davies describes as symbolic of the rising sun over Caithness. The piper is required to enter from the back of the hall, walking to the stage and taking the soloists position only as the work concludes. I heard it performed in Manchester a few years back--great piece, and Maxwell Davies is also a Sibelian.--kp

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The
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, where I was a bit of a jack-of-all-trades (assistant conductor, stage manager, education liason, and especially librarian) played that piece in the late 90's. It was a very expensive rental from the New York company Boosey and Hawkes, and to my great surprise, when the music arrived, a special chanter for the bagpipes was in the box. I believe it was a chanter in C.

Unfortunately, it was so out of tune that the piper couldn't use it and found one of his own.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Intrestingly enough, I've heard of these "Scottish" pieces by Davies, but I've not heard them yet. You've piqued my interest...I will have to seek them out.

Hoots man! Hahaha, indeed!

Kurki, I'm impressed you know the word "chanter." That is, of course, the melody pipe that you actually play.

Mendelsshon once said, and I am paraphrasing, that "traditional Scottish music is the most beautiful in the world" or something like that.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tapkaara, any progress with the Bagpipe version of the Musette?-kp

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've worked on it and I've made some progress...be patient. Smile

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just returned from holiday in Turkey, a fortnight without Sibelius! but I did have a conversation about the great man with a Finnish lady. Picking up a classical Cd in Alanya is quite impossible but following a boat trip with great scenic views, Sibelius's music was in my mind and as we embarked, I spotted a great looking boat in berth by the name of 'Musette'.--kp

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just so you all know...I have not forgotten about my "assignment" to play the main musette theme on Highland bagpipes. I've toyed around with it, and I can play most of it.

Once I have something fairly definitive, I'll try to record it...I think I know how to do that.

I will have some time off work (finally) in late December, so I will really work towards getting something recorded by then.

You all have been so patient!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still planning to do this, so all keep patient, please!

I wonder what Sibbe would have thought of bagpipes...after all...the is is the ultimate pedal point instrument, thanls to the drone.

F. Mendelssohn was a staunch admirer of traditional Scottish music. I recall hearing a quote where he said it was the greatest folk music on earth.

I wonder how Sibbe would have looked in a kilt with a cigar in one hand, bottle of Scotch in the other.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My favourite Mendelssohn quote:

"The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety"
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