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Sibelius on Wikipedia

 
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Kurkikohtaus
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:25 am    Post subject: Sibelius on Wikipedia Reply with quote

In looking for something else, I chanced to click upon the wikipedia page describing Sibelius' 1st Symphony, click
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to read it. You can find links to the other symphonies at the bottom of that page.

I am somewhat distressed by the generalizations made in that article. While I haven't yet read the rest of them, I don't imagine that they will reflect the cutting edge of scholarly research or analysis.

I don't dare logon and change anything there, as I have found that Wikipedia isn't quite as "open" as it likes to make itself out to be. The question then is, who writes this stuff and by what authority?

A touchy subject...

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Tapkaara
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's common knowledge that Wikipedia is by no means an authoritative resource for many subjects.

I had never seen this "article" about the 1st Symphony; I love how the author definitively asserts that Sibelius was influenced by Tchaikovsky and Brahms because of the "lyricism and light brass." And that shout out to the Godfather is also a kicker.

By the way, Wikipedia's article on Akira Ifukube is COMPLETELY out there and wrong on several points. My site (www.akiraifukube.org) is by far the best source for accurate info (in English) on the composer!!

From the Wikipedia article on the 2nd Symphony:

In Finland, this popular work with its grandiose finale was connected with the struggle for Finland's independence, even being dubbed the "Symphony of Independence" as it was written at a time of Russian sanctions on Finnish language and culture. Sibelius' reaction to this has been widely debated; some claim that he had not intended any patriotic message and was purely identified as a nationalist composer, while others believe that he wrote the piece with an independent Finland in mind.

I think the "belief" that Sibbe wrote this with a patriotic program in mind is, more or less, WRONG. I'm sure many of our resident experts will back me up when I say there is NO PROOF at all that Sibbe had an "Independance Symphony" in mind when he wrote this work in Rapallo.

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Last edited by Tapkaara on Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Harri M
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don`t know the writers in Wikipedia, but they could maybe be the same than in
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which doesn`t work anymore. I don`t know why.

Only this can be still found:

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This was the first place where I got my writings ( S-motif) "published" ( or really first was Tampere Filharmonia program notes).


Last edited by Harri M on Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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Andrew B
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tapkaara wrote:
the "belief" that Sibbe wrote this with a patriotic program in mind is, more or less, WRONG… there is NO PROOF at all that Sibbe had an "Independance Symphony" in mind when he wrote this work.

Oh yes, I am happy to back you up on this!

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Tapkaara
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew you would, Andrew!

I remember years ago going to hear the San Diego Symphony perform Sibelius's 2nd. I even dragged my mom to the performance. We attended the pre-concert lecture on the evening's music. The presenter mentioned that Sibelius wrote the piece to represent Finland's patriotic desire to become independant from Russia. I started shaking my head and I whispered into my mom's ear "This guy is wrong...Sibelius DID NOT write this symphony with independance or anything else in mind." At that point, my mom started to call out "No! No!" to the presenter! I quickly quieted her and covered my face with my program.

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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can endorse the sentiments expressed by Tapkaara and others.
Regarding the Second Symphony, I think it was the Finnish conductor Georg Schneevoigt who came up with this programme. 'Sibelius in this symphony intended to depict in the first movement 'The quite pastoral life of the Finns undisturbed by thoughts of oppression'. The second movement, he said is charged with patriotic feeling, but the thought of a brutal rule over the people brings with it timidity of soul'. The third movement, in the nature of a scherzo, 'portrays the awakening of National feeling, the desire of the Finns to organize in defence of their rights'. While in the Finale, 'Hope enters their breasts, and there is comfort in the anticipated coming of a deliverer'.
But Sibelius seems not to have known any of this 'My Symphonies are music conceived and worked out in terms of music, and without any Literary basis'.--kp

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Kurkikohtaus
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't resist and edited the aforementioned article on the 1st Symphony, it is now full of critical tags and shows 2 headers at the top.

I also left a little entry in the discussion tab, so maybe soon I'll have to put my money where my virtual-mouth is.
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Tapkaara
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good, Kurki! I saw your tags on the article.

It is very strangely written with lots of very subjective statements.

By the way, I would not say the 1st is "light on brass" as this article would want you to believe.

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Harri M
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good, Kurki!

The article is much worse in English than in Finnish. It allmost would belong to
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(as a brassplayer I wouldn´t say 1st symph light either)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By accident I had two books allready open allmost in right places.
I haven`t time to translate, but in Levas`s book pages 196-197 he basically says the same what Kullervopete tells.

But, in the other book, "Jean Sibelius and Isänmaa" (Fatherland) Veijo Murtomäki tells an opposite story in pages 57-58 (maybe Andrew B has this book) against Sibelius`s own words. Exclamation Question Shocked
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Tapkaara
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I happened to be browsing the website for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. They will be performing Sibbe's 2nd later this year. From their site:

The Sibelius' Second is a vivid musical portrait of Finland-including birds, trees and fjords-invoking a sense of national pride in his homeland.

More of the same...trying to attach a program to absolute music.

I especially like the fjords...there are no fjords in Finland. (At least not like in Norway...!)

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Andrew B
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hahaha...
At least they didn't claim that Sibelius spoke Finnish and Latin [rather than Swedish] (as I once heard on a television programme).

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Harri M
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They have forgotten the icebears.
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