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Kullervo
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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:51 am    Post subject: Kullervo Reply with quote

In the Gramophone magazine earlier this year reviewer P. Quantrill described Kullervo as 'a nationalistic pot boiler' and he went on in his review of Ari Rasilainen's new recording of the work to make the glib remark that 'it is a work whose recording history is racing towards overkill'. Who needs anti Sibelius rhetoric from a reviewer of presumably Sibelian credentials. If Kullervo shows the path that Jean Sibelius choose not to follow, it is surely a work of extraordinary vision and power and most certainly no pot boiler! in my opinion the more diverse the views that we can hear of this music on record, then the better our understanding of this remarkable youthful masterpiece. My current favourite is Robert Spano with the Atlanta symphony and chorus, here rivaling the esteemed Helsinki University male voice choir. Any comments. kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, welcome, Kullervopete, to active member status!

Secondly, as I stated elsewhere in the forum, Kullervo remains one of the few major works by Sibelius that I have yet to hear, and intentionally so. I am "saving" it for my 40's, so that I have something new to discover at a time when hopefully most of Sibelius' major repertoire will be familiar to me from a hands-on perspective.
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Lastly, I simply can't resist... but baseball fans will surely appreciate this one... REVIEWER P. Quantrill? Don't you mean RELIEVER Paul Quantrill?


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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whats this, our friend Kurkikohtaus has never heard Kullervo and is waiting until he has reached the ripe old age of forty before doing so -- I dont believe it! My advice would be immerse yourself forthwith in this glorious music and I guarantee that you will still be drawing new insights and beauty from it when you are eighty, nice joke though--kullervopete.

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Andrew B
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nationalistic potboiler indeed. The reviewer ought to hang his head in shame. For a start he confuses national and nationalist. Kullervo is by no means a nationalist=patriotic work just because it treats a story with folk origins and has points of contact with runic music. A year of hard work and a work that made an impact NOT because it merely took traditional themes but rather because it combined this with the great symphonic tradition.

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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew B makes a very telling point regarding Kullervo being part of the symphonic tradition. Sibelius studied in Vienna from Oct.1890 until June.1891 and during this time Sibelius heard Bruckners third symphony and it reduced him to tears. When Sibelius came to write Kullervo or tone poem for soloists, chorus and orchestra as is written on the title page of the score, he must have had Bruckners symphony in mind and certainly in the opening Allegro moderato introduction the Austrians presence can be deserned and interestingly in Sibelius's first symphony the scherzo which propelles itself forward with great rhythmic energy can be seen as a kind of Bruckner in a different time scale, but I must add that the trio is very much Sibelius! But our Finnish hero even at this stage must have sensed that the excesses and inflated romantisism of many symphonies at this time was ultimatly not for him and maybe this is why he withheld Kullervo for publication after the first few performances.
As we know in his symphonies he aimed increasingly for severity of style and economy of means but above all cogent argument and condenced expression, but even as late as 1908 in the remarkable tone poem Nightride and sunrise opus 55, I am reminded of Bruckner in parts of the sunrise section. Listen to the brass in the opening movement of Bruckner seven, also in a blazing E flat major. For me Bruckner has more in common with Sibelius than that other composer, one Gustav Mahler who for years were lumped together as almost indistiguishable, but thats another story.--kullervopete

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arenan
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love that piece! It seems that Sibelius was very very bold in some of his solutions. At times it really sounds like Mahler's superb march stuff. But these ones are not from Vienna or Bohemia.. Such a Primal but still so sophisticated work.
Oh I bable again, I need some recommendations on recordinzingis.
For anyone interested; Segerstam/Hakala/Isokoski/Helsinki Phil. just got done on Ondine.
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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Arenan, I have Segerstams Kullervo with Isokoski, Laukka and Danish Nat. Radio Choir and Symphony, dating from1995 [Chandos] Its a fine reading but the very last movement is very broad and drawn out, almost sluggish at times. I wonder if the maestro will have re-thought this in the new Helsinki recording.
My current favourite is Robert Spano with Charlotte Hellekant, Nathan Gunn and Atlanta S, O. and mens chorus on Telark CD-80665
impressive none Finnish performance.
Also worth a try, Ari Rasilainen on CPO 777 196-2 with a great introduction.--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the Colin Davis "live" recording (I don't believe it) and one of the Berglund recordings. Both sound great to me... but then again, both are renowned for their Sibelius interpretations.

I definitely like this piece a lot. Such mastery of color and texture of sound... it's insane! What else did the man write for orchestra before this? Not too much, I shouldn't think. And then he comes up with this masterwork and then starts churning out some of the greatest and most unique symphonies and tone poems ever heard? Hmph.

That having been vented, the opening theme is really well developed in my opinion, and by the end of the piece it's just amazing.

Oh, and about that critic... was it Sibelius or Brahms that said something to the effect of "Whenever was a statue erected for a critic?" This, friends, is a case in point on the grandest scale.
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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes it was Sibelius who remarked 'never pay any attention to what critics say...remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a critic'.
Sib also came out with another good one. [He was once strolling through a garden when a friend observed, 'The most beautiful music in the world is natures concert of birds and the winds'. Just then a crow zoomed overhead, cawing, madly.] 'And there,' [smiled Sibelius] 'goes the critic'.
I aggree with you World Violist, after much chamber music and student excercises, Sibelius produces Kullervo--the mind boggles.--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kurki, have you still not heard Kullervo? This is amazing to me! If you have not heard it and you are waiting for your 40s, when will you be in your 40s?

I will admit, Kullervo took a while to grow on me, but I know regard it as one of my favorite pieces of music by any composer, ever. I could not live without it.

I think once Kurki hears it, his head will explode. You are in for quite an experience, Kurki.

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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can second that! see my earlier comment.--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed, friends, I am still saving it. There are few major works by Sibelius which I have not heard, so I actually relish in the fact that I have not heard Kullervo yet and am still purposely avoiding it.

Actually, my dream is to abstain until I have the chance to study it for a performance, in order to come at it completely fresh. But that would have to be a guest conducting engagement or with my "next" orchestra, wherever that may be, and that is still some time away.

So until then, I am excercizing patience and wonderful self-denial.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a case of musical blueballs! (Can I say that?) Shocked

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you can, as to my knowledge there are no ladies present except for CelloPrincess, who may be owling some of the posts...

The one difference between my state and the one you mention is that mine is self-imposed, while the other is more often than not the result of too much or too little wine imbibed by your date.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Kurkikohtaus"The one difference between my state and the one you mention is that mine is self-imposed, while the other is more often than not the result of too much or too little wine imbibed by your date.


Very good way of putting it all in perspective, Kurki! Hahaha...

When will you be in your 40s, then? I would love to be present when you hear Kullervo for the first time. It is so unlike anything else Sibbe wrote...it's truly one of my favorites by any composer.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here we go: I am 34. So lots of music between then and now, no need to initiate a countdown yet.
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Expi
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hello, KULLERVO is such an fantastic piece, one of my favorits of Sibelius. I got several recordings: N.Järvi, P.Järvi, Salonen, Berglund, Saraste, Segerstam, Davies, Vanska, Spano, Panula, Rasilainen. Is there any other great version that i don't know ?
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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the moment I can only think of Akeo Watanabe. This fine Sibelian recorded two complete symphony cycles. In 1978 he performed Kullervo in Japanese! The Sibelius Society of Japan did release a Cd of the concert in 1993 [Saari SSJ-1] Don't know if its still available. I also have tapes of Rozhdestvensky and Thomas Ades in live performances from the Proms.--kp

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, thanks, unfortunyately the Watanabe symphonies and Kullervo aren't aviable anymore. I'm really a member of many classical trackers and other torrent sides, but nothing! Sad
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which is your favorit Kullervo recording?

[listJärvi Göteborg
Salonen LA PO Sony
Berglund Helsinki PO
P. Järvi Stockholm PO
Panula Turku NAXOS
Vanska Lahti
Segerstam Helsinki PO
Saraste Finish RSO
Davis LSO
Rasilainen Rheinland PF. CPO
Spano Atlanta
Berglund Bournemouth
Davis LSO Live
Segerstam Danish RSO
=][/list]
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