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Thread: Karelia Suite - Sibelius

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    Default Karelia Suite - Sibelius

    Boy, recently, i have been spendig a lot of time listening to the ballade from this and it just gives me so much excitement. maybe excitement isn't the right word, maybe more pleasure. I think its around 3:54 where thers a gorgeous string chords whic just makes my spine crumble, jeez, good stuff. Comment anyone?
    Mozart is sweet sunshine - Dvorak

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    I just love the Karelia Suite. Sibelius is one of those great talents that it doesn't seem to matter if the music came from early or late in his life. We all love the Violin Concerto, but it was composed when he was still a student. It's wonderful too.

    What a great piece the Karelia Suite is - one of the great treasures of world music.

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    OK, we all love Sibelius, right? But to say that the Karelia Suite is "one of the great treasures of world music" is taking it a little too far.

    The fast movements are about as lightweight as Sibelius gets, but they serve their purpose... true, the hymn section of the Ballade is very very good, especially when you consider that it is written in 1893. What Sibelius is depicting here is the so-called Runo singing of the Kalevala, an idea that to some extent permeates all his work.

    A small correction, Mr. Newman, the Violin Concerto was written in 1903 between Symphonies No. 3 and 4, and not when Sibelius was still a student (until 1891).

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    Default Karelia

    The incidental music to Karelia was written in 1893 by Jean Sibelius. I have not heard the full performance of it but the overture and the suite are sweet.
    The opening bars of the french horn fanfare with undulating strings in the background is truly inspired writing. It is a gem.
    My favourite version is the Lorin Maazel and the Wiener Philharmoniker on London/Decca.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tahnak View Post
    I have not heard the full performance of it
    Do it!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurkikohtaus View Post
    OK, we all love Sibelius, right?
    Um - nope. I have never really got anything from any Sibelius work, and the Karelia Suite in particular seems to have very little musical content to me.

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    Sorry to see you are not a fan of Sibelius, Lang. Oh well.

    Could you please elaborate on why you find little of interest in his work?
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    It's a long time since I have heard the work, but I will try. The Karelia Suite seems to me - and I emphasise that this is purely my own, subjective impression - to have little in the way of musical ideas, and what ideas there are, are not developed. The orchestration sounds a little clumsy to me, and slightly opaque. The last movement in particular has as its theme something that could have come out of the playground. And most importantly of all, it doesn't speak to me. So by the time it is over, I feel no emotion at all, other than slight boredom.

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    Well, if your only exposure to Sibelius is the Karelia Suite, I suppose I could understand your feeling towards his music. But let us be reminded that the Karelis Suite is some of Sibelius' lightest, most pleasantly tuneful works. It is, however, by no means the purest representation of the man's music.

    Mahler had a similar opinion of Sieblius by the way, but Mahler had formed this fairly negative opinion after hearing the compoer's Spring Song, another light work in the vein of Karelia.

    If you have not yet heard any of the symphonies or tone poems, Lang, I think you are in for a shock. Sibelius is one of the most profound musica; voices of the 20th century, but that must seem hard to believe after hearing Karelia.

    May I suggest the 4th Symphony, the 5th Symphony, the 7th Symphony, Pohjola's Daughter and Tapiola? Give one fo these masterpieces a whirl and let me know what you think.
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    I have heard the symphonies, the violin concerto and some of the tone poems. I'm afraid I just don't get it. I have heard Sibelius on the radio without knowing what it is, and my first reaction has been curiosity about who it could be, followed rapidly by boredom.

    It's not even a negative reaction to Scandinavian music, because I love some of Grieg's music, and all of Nielsen's. There are other composers I feel the same way about, but as a compensation, there are many composers whose music is not very popular, but which I love.

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    Karelia is one of the two pieces of Sibelius which got me into classical music as a child. It was used on a late night documentary show which I was allowed to stay up late to hear. I can't remember the name of the show but Karelia and those triplets in the trumpets have been etched on my brain from that time on. The other piece was the extract from Pelleas and Melisande which was (and probably still is) the theme tune for 'The Sky at Night' with Patrick Moore. So much Sibelius on the Telly!
    FC

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    Well Lang, I suppose Sibelius's music just isn't for you.

    You mentioned you enjoy Nielsen and Grieg. These are two composers that I don't necessarily enjoy, so it just goes to show how different people's tastes can be.
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    Yes indeed, which is why I rarely make musical judgements based on my taste.

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    Well, I think ALL musical judgements are based on taste, at least to some extent. It's very hard, dare I say, impossible (for most) to seperate the two.

    I makes judgements on what I like, and what I like is governed by my sense of taste. Anyhow...
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    Oh yes, I make personal judgments based on taste, as we all do. What I meant was I rarely say, "This music is utter crap", even though I might secretly think it.

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