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Great Sibelian Beards

 
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Andrew B
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:37 am    Post subject: Great Sibelian Beards Reply with quote

OK, this is my 500th post, so to mark this milestone I thought wqe could have a bit of fun. Smile

Sibelius in old age was known more for a lack of facial hair than an excess thereof. But many people associated with him, from the nineteenth century to the present day, have chosen another course. Here are five photos of 'Great Sibelian Beards' past and present.

For a start: can you identify them all? There isn't any Photoshop trickery involved here - all the pictures are genuine. (In a few days I'll post the full photos so please answer quickly!)

And secondly: which gets your vote as the most impressive?

Note: YES, I have a beard, and NO, I am not in any of the photos.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:21 am    Post subject: Re: Great Sibelian Beards Reply with quote

Andrew B wrote:
OK, this is my 500th post, so to mark this milestone I thought wqe could have a bit of fun. Smile

Sibelius in old age was known more for a lack of facial hair than an excess thereof. But many people associated with him, from the nineteenth century to the present day, have chosen another course. Here are five photos of 'Great Sibelian Beards' past and present.

For a start: can you identify them all? There isn't any Photoshop trickery involved here - all the pictures are genuine. (In a few days I'll post the full photos so please answer quickly!)

And secondly: which gets your vote as the most impressive?

Note: YES, I have a beard, and NO, I am not in any of the photos.

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Oh, this is hilarious. Ok then...

1- Kajanus
2- Carpelan
3- Vanska?
4- Segerstam
5- uh... I've forgotten, though I have seen that beard somewhere, I swear...

I personally think it's between Kajanus and Segerstam as to being the most impressive, though then it begins to depend on what "impressive" is referring to. Segerstam's beard's sheer size makes it very impressive, but the compactness and neatness of Kajanus' makes it equally so. I don't know, I'm no facial hair connoisseur... but this is very fun!
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Tapkaara
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Number 4 is Segerstam, number 5 is Brahms, I think....?

Stumped on the other ones.

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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1- Robert Kajanus
2- Martin Wegelius
3- Okko Kamu
4-Leif Segerstam
5- General August Alexander Jarnefelt

I'm only confident of No.1

Wegelius has a nice shape and Kajanus's great distinction. Kamu's is a very much 'run of the mill' beard. I think that Segerstam is a front runner, but if size matters then Jarnefelt is the runaway winner. He was of course Aino Sibelius's Father.--kp

PS Congrats on 500

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tapkaara wrote:
Number 4 is Segerstam, number 5 is Brahms, I think....?

Stumped on the other ones.


Brahms didn't have a divide in his beard. And he couldn't be a great Sibelian anyway; he died before Sibelius really hit his stride and could have gotten Brahms' attention.
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Tapkaara
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I failed to notice in my first post that these are beards of Sibelius conductors, not general classical music personalities. At any rate, Brahms's beard wos one of the greatest of all time.

But Segerstam, now THERE'S a great beard. You can see it from a mile away. I think he keeps his baton on his beard when he's not using it.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tapkaara wrote:
I failed to notice in my first post that these are beards of Sibelius conductors, not general classical music personalities. At any rate, Brahms's beard wos one of the greatest of all time.

But Segerstam, now THERE'S a great beard. You can see it from a mile away. I think he keeps his baton on his beard when he's not using it.


Indeed, Brahms' beard was amazing, and Segerstam's is equally so. I'm beginning now to wonder what he does hide in his beard. I wonder what he can get away with going through an airport security check... Shocked

Sibelius' early portraits show some promise, I think. I haven't seen any photographs from around that time... huh. Are there any? They might give us a clue as to what Sibbe's facial may have looked like had he given it a bit more time, eh?
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Tapkaara
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sibelius had a great mustache, but never a beard, as far as I know. His brother, Christian also sported a mustache in his youth.

Seems like a lot of composers have a beard, or a beard and a mustcahe, but rarely ONLY a mustache. G. Faure had a mustache. Elgar a mustache. J. Ibert a mustache. R. Strausss a mustache. Who am I missing?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tapkaara wrote:
Sibelius had a great mustache, but never a beard, as far as I know. His brother, Christian also sported a mustache in his youth.

Seems like a lot of composers have a beard, or a beard and a mustcahe, but rarely ONLY a mustache. G. Faure had a mustache. Elgar a mustache. J. Ibert a mustache. R. Strausss a mustache. Who am I missing?


Hmmm... wasn't Sibbe sporting somewhat of a goatee at some point? I seem to remember that.

Fritz Kreisler is another mustached composer. Mahler had a mustache before growing a most impressive beard to appear more imposing at the podium (being rather thin-looking otherwise). His beard rivaled Segerstam and Brahms both, but I think it looked a bit awkward on him. I was just apparently more used to photographs of him clean-shaven. Haha.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only 2 that I could have guessed were 3) Vänskä and 4) Segerstam...

I am and always have been on the fence with facial hair. About 6 months of the year I am clean shaven, and for the rest I change my look several times a year, sporting combinations of sideburns, goatees, full beards and trimmed beards.

Right now, after being clean shaven from August until Christmas, I've been going all out since December 29th including the brutal neck-beard, as you can see below, courtesy of my cell-phone.

2 weeks ago...


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Tapkaara
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Brutal" neck beard? Naw, I wouldn't call it brutal.

I almost always have some form of facial hair going on. 90% of the time I have a goatee and about 80% of the time a mustache. I suppose I like having facial hair, but I also hate shaving. Luckily, I do not have to be clean shaved every day for my work, so I just let it go.

I never recal seeing Sibbe with a goatee. Mahler, yes, I have seen his 'stache and beard before.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The closest I have seen to that was a guy named Christian Ahlström - grandson (if I remember correctly) of Sibelius's brother Christian - whom I met briefly at a ceremony in Hämeenlinna in 1985. He had the classic Sibelius face, greyish hair - and a full beard. It looked rather distinguished. I may have photos from that occasion - if so, I'll scan one and post it.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating, Andrew, that you've had the chance to meet a member of Sibelius's family. That must be quite an experience!

Please post a photo if you can find it!

Speaking of Sibelius's hair, facial and otherwise, as a youth, what color was his hair? Paintings often portray it as red...I suppose this is accurate?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recall reading somewhere that the young Sibelius had long blond locks.--kp

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Andrew B
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I guess there won't be any more 'entries' - so here are the answers. Some of you got nearly all of them right, which is gratifying!

1. Robert Kajanus
2. Martin Wegelius
3. Osmo Vänskä
4. Leif Segerstam (this one was too easy!!)
5. Alexander Järnefelt


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the ones I missed I'd never even seen before... haha. So now when I'm on the street and someone randomly runs up to me, pulls out a picture and asks "Whose beard is this?" I should have no excuse if it just happens to be one of the two that I missed... why am I saying this...?
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But for Osmo Vanska I would have had a full house, I just didn't recall ever having seen any pictures of Osmo with a beard.

Spotted this classic the other day!-kp


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