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Worst Howlers on Sibelius

 
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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:17 am    Post subject: Worst Howlers on Sibelius Reply with quote


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On this forum we rightly venerate Jean Sibelius and his music. I've started this thread to have a look at some of the most astonishing attacks on the great composer. The post above was taken from a Tom Service blog on Rattle and the Berlin Phil.--kp

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David Revilla
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too much agressive and irrational. It's almost like an internet troll! Isn't it a joke?

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Andrew B
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beneath contempt, however much the guy may dislike the music, and factually plain wrong.

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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I came across part of a review by one Robert Angles which appeared in 'Music and Musicians' during October, 1963.

'SIBELIUS', the so-called maligned and out-of-favour Finn, occupied most of the Prom programme on August 20. The Festivo, from his Scenes Historiques, sounded, in a somewhat drab performance, once again, a tedious piece which shows that Sibelius could , at times, write as bad music as any other great composer. The thought and indeed sound of the Finn, masquerading quasi bolero in the plains of Spain yet still unmistakeably him-self, has unfortunately too many comic implications'.

Well at least Angles classed JS as a great composer Wink --kp

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EsaTero
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like a description of Richard Strauss, not Sibelius, to me. Only it does not describe it as egocentric enough for Strauss.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That first diatribe made me laugh hysterically. Reading that aloud to myself has to be one of the most comedically gratifying moments of 2014.

And that guy called Sibelius reactionary...aahahaha...
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Andrew B
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kullervopete wrote:
Sibelius could, at times, write as bad music as any other great composer.

Hand on heart, even I would concede that point, to some extent - but NOT with reference to Festivo! Even the sun has spots…

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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Andrew B has recently alerted me to the above blog in the latest Standpoint magazine. Norman Lebrecht features on the subject of Carl Nielsen the inextinguishable. Clearly Lebrecht is a Nielsen enthusiast [as am I] but his outrageous and inaccurate attack on the Danes great contemporary Jean Sibelius has echoes of Theodore Adorno. Sibelius has had no imitators for he was quite simply 'inimitable' he never had a 'school' of followers, unlike say Stravinsky or Schoenberg. As composer Robert Simpson remarked 'Most critics who attack him would be unable to distinguish between the real and a waxwork Sibelius; you cannot find out what is in a mans heart if you cannot get over your dislike of the shape of his nose'.
Brahms was 43 before he took up the symphonic challenge. The claim that 'existential torment' is absent in Sibelius is utter rubbish. Listen to the Sibelius fourth which relates profoundly to our existence. Lebrechts claim that Sibelius was a rich man is also a laugh. JS was in debt for years despite his modest government pension and his reference to the eighth symphony is beneath contempt. A leading modern composer Julian Anderson has written that 'the influence of Sibelius on contemporary music is now so substantial and lasting that one can speak of him as a key figure in the shaping of current musical thought'.
Of course in 2015 we celebrate both the achievements of Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius, but we can do without the pathetic diatribe of Lebrecht.--kp

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Tapkaara
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And then there's René Leibowitz (who also attacked Akira Ifukube, by the way). The worst composer in the world? Well, you may not like him, but...uh...perhaps something of a hyperbolic statement?

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