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Moldyoldie
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:11 pm    Post subject: Where Does One Go From Here? Reply with quote

To whose music should one "temporarily" migrate from Sibelius in order to test other Finnish waters -- Aho? Rautavaara? Other? Should one go backward or forward?

Or should one leave Finland entirely? I love the music of Nielsen, Stenhammer, and Tubin; not so much the likes of Alfven and Svendsen.

I realize music is probably best experienced as a directionless voyage of discovery, but limitations on cash and space have to be taken into consideration. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it Howard Hanson's second symphony that's heavily influenced by Sibelius? It reminds me quite a bit of it, anyway. The movements are played without pause, it has a big sweep in the music, and while the tunes are somewhat cliche they go somewhere (not saying Sibelius tunes are cliche by a long shot, by the way...).

I don't think listening to other Finnish composers is necessary at all. Rautavaara's works are rather interesting to me, though I've only got a couple of discs of his somewhat earlier work. The bass concerto (Angel of Dusk) is very atmospheric stuff... I really like it.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an interesting question. It can be addressed from several angles.

If one wants to "graduate" or "move on" from Sibelius to another composer who sounds like him, you would probably have to leave Finland. I'm at least familiar with the "sounds" of many Finnish composers, and no on from Sibbe's native land sounds close to him.

Rautavaara is an avant-gardist, but one of the more accessible ones. His atonal music is a far cry from Sibelius.

Uuno Klami may come close in that he has a sort of post-Romantic sound, but as his musical tuition happened in France, his music has a very "Gallic" feel in the tradition of Ravel or Roussel.

Einar Englund is also distant stylistically from Sibelius. His music sounds like Honnegger to me. Perhaps Nielsen as well.

And the list can go on and on.

Arnold Bax (of the UK) is often compared to Sibelius. Both enjoyed composing tone poems and have a similar "sound," I suppose. Bax, however, never seems to take an intitial idea and turn it into something spectacular like Sibelius. Sibelius is clearly the greater of the two artists.

I think the bottom line is that there's only one Sibelius. His musical voice is so unique, that if you want more of it, you better stick to the original master.

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Andrew B
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to keep close in time, geography and style you could try Kajanus, Madetoja and Melartin.

(Yay! this was No. 400!)

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Moldyoldie
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your well-considered replies.

I'm quite familiar with the symphonies and tone poems of Bax and Hanson; in fact, the familiar theme from the last movement of Hanson's Symphony No. 2 has become known as "The Interlochen Theme" and has been traditionally played at the conclusion of every concert given by the World Youth Symphony Orchestra of Interlochen Arts Camp in Northwest Lower Michigan since 1931!

I've sampled works from all the other composers mentioned above and found the recording of Englund's Symphonies 4 & 5 along with The Great Wall of China to be the most immediately compelling. It's on order; I'll let you know what I think. Wink


Last edited by Moldyoldie on Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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david johnson
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

go far afield...some chopin or bruce sprinsteen's seeger sessions tour, etc.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To explore possible sound connections through Sea-music, I enjoy the subjective connections between Aallottaret, Britten's Sea Interludes, Debussy's La Mer and, to answer the original quesiton in this topic, Vítěslav Novák's O věčné touze, "Of Eternal Longing".

This piece and Novák's style in general is not connected to Sibelius in any way, he owes pretty much everything to Debussy in his use of whole tone scales and non-functional harmonies. All the same, the picture that he conjures up of the sea and of the lonely swan (!) flying over it are truly wondrous. The piece slacks a little in the middle as the swan picks up resolve and tries to find its flock again, but comes to a grand conslusion.

Worth a listen.

If you happen to get a recording that is paired with his "Slovácká suita", it is quite a naive work and unfortunately the one that carries his (small) reputation in the Czech Republic.

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Moldyoldie
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Maestro Kurki, the Novák is now on my list.

Meanwhile, I had my
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-- reminded me more of Shostakovich, as was certainly his influence and inspiration, but to me
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. One must choose their derivations wisely. Wink
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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sibelius is certainly inimitable in Finnish music and indeed in any other music. I wonder if Moldyoldie is familier with the Fourth Symphony of Franz Schmidt [1934] This is one of the few 20th Century symphonies that is in my view worthy of comparison with Sibelius. Everything is derived from the opening theme on the trumpet which also closes the work. The symphony was written as a Requiem for Schmidts daughter shortly after her death. It contains one of the most beautiful 'Elegy's in music with a deeply moving solo cello and the funeral march is remarkably similar in atmosphere to Sibelius's 'Swan of Tuonela'.--kp

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about the music of Edmund Rubbra? I haven't really heard his symphonies, but having heard his viola concerto (of course) and having read a decent enough amount about his symphonies (including that he drew influence from Sibelius in part), I think this might be a good place to start other than Sibelius... not to mention that the last of his eleven symphonies is also in one movement. Very Happy

His way of composition was, from what I've read, very different from the trend of the time; he rejected atonalism and formed his own style, whereby one statement would grow - the music would "discover itself" (sounds familiar, eh?). His is not the sensitive, pastoral music of Vaughan Williams nor anything like Elgar; rather something entirely his own.

Just thought I'd throw this out there and see what the reaction is.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klami is quite different from Sibelius, a more "all over the place" type of music. But it's roughly the same era and mainly symphonic.

With Rautavaara, the symphonies are the thing. The earlier ones are more "classical", then moving to modernist style. I think the 7th was interesrting. I looked at what I have left, seems to be Rautavaara flute concerto. Did not care for piano concerto.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Rautavaara symphonies are on Amazon as downloads, and I got to sample them there. Seems a bit too modern for me. So the previous post is no longer what I think. I actually like what he did with folk tunes in Pelimannit. It's an 8 minute piece and is on the Ondine Best of collection. The symphonies can be sampled on Naxos discs. I don't really know what to think. They are symphonies, but somehow I think of a somewhat more serious version of a John Williams movie soundtrack when I listen to these.

I like his Requiem in our time - brass piece.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm very familiar with Franz Schmidt, whose Fourth Symphony is a masterpiece of Late Romantic expression, along with the more "popular" works of Rautavaara including his Third and Seventh Symphonies, Cantus Arcticus, etc.; but if there was ever at least a near kindred aesthetic to Sibelius in several of his works, it has to belong to this chap from Kiwiland who I've just discovered in the last couple of months and with whom I'm sure a few of you may be familiar.


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I'm afraid I've yet to sample Rubbra, I'll have to do something about that this year.

(For the benefit of future site searches I must type: Douglas Lilburn)
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back Moldy to the forum. Your input and wisdom have been missed. I was aware that Lilburn is very much influenced by Sibelius but I'm not familier with his music at all. Must investigate some of it Smile kp

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kullervopete wrote:
Welcome back Moldy to the forum. Your input and wisdom have been missed.

Yep.
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Altocumulussky
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moldyoldie wrote:
I'm very familiar with Franz Schmidt, whose Fourth Symphony is a masterpiece of Late Romantic expression,


I like this piece. What surprises me after first listening is that some of the sound blocks (or pictures?) is similar to Josef Suk's Asrael Symphony.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Lilburn CD is the sort of thing I'll pick up just to explore, because it has the words "islands" and "forest" on it. Looks interesting.

How about Jón Leifs? He doesn't sound much like Sibelius most of the time... well, not exactly but the evocations of Icelandic legend and landscape are definitely akin to Finnish legend and landscape.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Altocumulussky wrote:
... similar to Josef Suk's Asrael Symphony.

I have an odd quirk, in that I take pride in the fact that there are several major pieces that I have never heard and have no intention of listening to in the near future. Not because I don't want to hear them, but because I am saving them for a later time, so that I can continue to discover great music for the first time well into my career as a musician.

On of those pieces is the aforementioned Asrael.

Can anyone guess what major piece by Sibelius I am saving in this way? I have mentioned it at some point on the forum, but it was years ago, one would have to do a lot of digging to find it. Andrew B is disqualified from this riddle, as we just talked about it recently ...
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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kullervo--pete

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that lasted long.

Indeed, I have yet to hear Kullervo but definitely plan to do so, probably as a gift to myself for my 40th birthday, coming soon!
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