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Thread: Sibelius Symphony no 4

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judith View Post
    Don't know if anyone else thinks the same way. Find this particular symphony very difficult to get into.
    I was certainly puzzled by it. The bells in the last movement seemed to undercut the whole thing, which had seemed deadly serious. I recall making some disparaging remarks about it and Mahlerian put me right.

    It's now difficult to separate from 6 and 7 among my favourites. The slow movement is gorgeous.

    BTW, looking at this - you may have seen it already - the recommended recording is Vanska/Lahti.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p01zb3ys


    http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/radio3/building_a_library/baL_factsheet_1999-2016.pdf
    Last edited by MacLeod; Jun-09-2020 at 07:13.

  2. #17
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    I was still discovering Sibelius when I came to this site and only had a few recordings of the 4th (how times have changed). I think what took me so long was finding the right recording. My first single disc of this was Rattle's first effort and it really didn't sell it to me, so much that I didn't rate it at all I still find it too cold an account. Rattle did some of the Sibelius symphonies well but with both of his cycles I think this one fares the worst . Hats off to Karajan for being the first one to sell it to me but I have a big soft spot for Maazel here who makes a very good case for it indeed. Its still my least favourite Sibelius symphony but that doesn't stop me loving it (see Beethoven 2).

  3. #18
    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    Apart from the apparent bleakness and despair, there is a terrifying presence that crushes any temporary optimism, while sometimes it confronts you head on, and there is nowhere to hide..

    Have to admit the 4th was the last of Sibelius' symphonies that I got myself familiar with. It took some effort, but once through that, I found it the most charismatic and addictive among his seven symphonies.

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  5. #19
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    I still argue that if you know some of Shakespeare's tragedies, Sibelius Symphony No. 4 makes a lot of sense. I'm not saying it follows a Shakespearean narrative, or anything like that. Just the mood of near despair, occasionally brightening, even comic, but ultimately tragic. Something like Hamlet, or King Lear, perhaps.

    But I admit that I brooded over Sibelius 4 for many years. I don't know whether it's my favorite of the seven, but I love it to death. I've even quoted it in my own compositions (very unobtrusively.)

  6. #20
    Senior Member helenora's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knorf View Post
    I don't disagree. I've been obsessed with it for years! It's kind of like a Shakespearean tragedy. And when you think it's going turn out alright, everything goes kablooey.
    can't say more! agreed
    Man muss das Leben tanzen

  7. #21
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    Like Allegro posted on the 6th, I find it a special symphony but only listen when I'm in the right mindset. I came by route of the 6th. My current pref is Maazel's 4th, but I've heard Segerstam (Helsinki) and was planning to acquire it when I heard Rouvali's recent 1st and 2nd. Really liked the Rouvali so I should probably hold off until he records Silbelius 4 to see how that "feels" compared to Maazel.

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