The Unknown Sibelius

Album cover art for upc 7318590020654
Label: BIS
Catalog: CD2065
Format: CD

Lahti Symphony Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vänskä & Okko Kamu
Helena Juntunen, soprano; Anne Sofie von Otter & Monica Groop, mezzo-sopranos
Gabriel Suovanen, baritone; Jorma Hynninen, baritone
Jaakko Kuusisto, Laura Vikman & Jyrki Lasonpalo, violins
Anna Kreetta Gribajcevic, viola; Taneli Turunen, cello; Eero Munter, double bass
Folke Gräsbeck & Peter Lönnqvist, piano
Dominante Choir / Seppo Murto; Orphei Drängar / Robert Sund

World Première Recordings
Orchestral: Four Late Fragments (1930-57)
Piano: Andantino in D major 'Till Emma Kristina Marie-Louise Berndtson - Lulu' (1889); Impromptu in B minor (1893?); Adagio in E major, JS 13
Orchestral Works
Finland Awakes; The Oceanides, Op.73 (Yale version); Processional, Op.113 No.6
Vocal / Choral Music
Jag kysser dig [och ledsnar] ej (1889-91) for soprano & piano; Tule, tule kultani, JS 211, for baritone & piano
Tanken, JS 192 for two mezzo-sopranos & piano; Italian Folk Song Arrangements, JS 99, for baritone, mixed choir & piano; Fridolins dårskap, JS 84, for male-voice choir; Jone havsfärd, JS 100, for male-voice choir
Chamber Music
Serenata, JS 169, for two violins & cello; Ödlan, Op.8, for chamber ensemble
Piano Music
Adagio 'Rakkaalle Ainolle' for piano four hands, JS 161

The Unknown Sibelius presents a spectrum of the music that is the least wide-spread of the Finnish master's production, either because the pieces included belong to genres not usually associated with 'Sibelius the symphonist', or because they appear in versions that differ from the ones that are performed frequently all over the world. A case in point is the opening Finland Awakes, a rarely heard version of what is possibly Sibelius' best-known piece, Finlandia, in which the famous 'hymn' tune is restated in full, scored with unashamed flamboyance for brass, at the end of the piece. That recording and others on this disc are culled from the complete SIBELIUS EDITION brought to a close in 2011 - but completeness is a relative concept: a 'complete' edition is only complete until the next mislaid manuscript or forgotten work is re-discovered. The present disc thus serves a dual purpose, as it also includes première recordings of works and fragments that have been discovered or otherwise have become available after the EDITION was brought to a close. Among these, the late orchestral fragments earned a certain celebrity in October 2011, as media across the world greeted the discovery of what was soon proclaimed to be sketches for the famed 8th Symphony - that elusive Holy Grail of all Sibelius-spotters. Dr. Timo Virtanen, the respected authority on Sibelius, has prepared the sketches for the present recording and also written a text - available on the BIS web site - discussing them and the context in which they may have been written. If the orchestral fragments generally tend towards the harmonically bold sound world that Sibelius explored in some of his very late works, the three piano pieces that have also come to recent light are earlier works which all in different ways are connected to other compositions by Sibelius.

Price: $28.98