Sibelius: Swanwhite, Js 189, The Lizard, Op. 8, Th
EKLUNDH TURKU PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA SEGERSTAM, RIHO EKLUNDH
So great was the effect of Jean Sibelius’s incidental music for Maurice Maeterlinck’s play Pelléas et Mélisande that August Strindberg, whose wife had performed the role of Mélisande, agreed that he should write the music for his as-yet unperformed play Svanevit (Swanwhite). Composing for an orchestra of thirteen he wrote in a style reminiscent of Grieg, and both play and music were very well received by critics and audiences alike. The play Ödlan (The Lizard) inspired Sibelius with its dreamlike atmosphere, while Ett ensamt skidspår (A Lonely Ski Trail) and Grevinnans konterfej (The Countess’ Portrait) show his skill in writing for drama on a miniature scale. Composer, violinist, pianist and conductor Leif Segerstam has been Chief Conductor of the Turku Philharmonic, the oldest orchestral body in Finland, since 2012.