Friday, August 30, 2013

Cassazione Sibelius

Cassazione Op. 6 was written in 1904 and was first performance in Helsinki on 8th February by the Orchestra of Helsinki Philharmonic Society under Jean Sibelius. It is one of Sibelius's most rarely performed works.It is a Ballade for orchestra. Lahti Symphony Osmo Vanska

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Scenes Historiques Suite II Sibelius

Sibelius worked on three orchestral compositions in 1912. He decided to combine them to create a suite which he called Scènes Historiques II. The first movement, The Hunt, has French horn parts of a high order. The second movement, The Love Song, includes a theme which Sibelius took from Pohjola's Daughter. The third movement, On the Drawbridge, concludes the work with the violins providing guitar-like sounds. The first public performance was a success. Finnish Radio Symphony Jukka-Pekka Saraste The Hunt Love Song At the Drawbridge

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Wood Nymph Sibelius

Skogsraet Op. 15- The Wood Nymph. It is a symphonic poem ballad which is based on a poem by Viktor Rydberg.It was completed in 1895. The premiere was given in Helsinki on 17th April 1895 - Helsinki Orchestral Society conducted by Jean Sibelius. It was performed then with a narrator. An early sketch of Skogsrået was included in the plan for an opera in the summer of 1894. Viktor Rydberg's text relates the adventures of the hero Björn in the forest where evil dwarfs are carrying out their malicious schemes and a curvaceous wood nymph lures Björn into making love to her. The spell he is under cannot be broken. Björn can no longer love his wife. Nor does he feel like working. He dies alone and full of yearning. The Wood Nymph remained in Sibelius's concert programmes for years. It sank into oblivion until the late 1990s when the work was again thrust into the international spotlight after the Lahti Symphony Orchestra had played and recorded it. One of the finest moments in the work is the modal sound field which starts after the majestic opening and lasts for few minutes. The opening is impressive with the C major theme symbolising Björn. The second exposition is the heroic theme. In the third episode, Björn meets the Wood Nymph. The long instrumental line from the cellos creates an extremely erotic setting. The atmosphere changes to melancholia in the final episode which brings out the hopeless yearning of Bjorn. The tone colours used by Sibelius are magnificent. Lahti Symphony Osmo Vanska

Monday, August 26, 2013

Oceanides Sibelius

Aallottarett - Sea Nymphs The Oceanides in Finnish `Aallottaret' or "nymphs of the waves" was written for the Norfolk Music Festival in the United States. It resulted from a commission by Horatio Parker who was acting on behalf of the millionaire and festival promoter Carl Stoeckel and his wife. In 1913, Sibelius started to prepare the work as a suite but this music is the one that has survived and played at the Lahti Sibelius festival under Osmo Vänskä. In the spring of 1914, Sibelius prepared a one-movement orchestral work in D flat major from the material. Inspiration for his tone poems generally came to him from two basic sources: Finnish legend, as recorded in the national epic the Kalevala, and Nature in its varied moods and awesome dimensions. In some instances these two powerful influences converged. The Oceanides, as Sibelius pointed out, "derives from the mythology of Homer and not from the Kalevala," but the work has been regarded by many as a marine counterpart to the brooding and terrifying landscape painted later in his final masterwork in this genre (the last of his orchestral works, in fact), Tapiola, which represents the Kalevala's depiction of the domain of the forest god Tapio. These two contrasting yet complementary works, incidentally, were the only ones Sibelius composed specifically for presentation in the United States. He was not present for the premiere of Tapiola, given by Walter Damrosch (who had commissioned it) and his New York Symphony Orchestra at the end of 1926, but he himself conducted the premiere of The Oceanides at the Norfolk Music Festival in Connecticut a dozen years earlier, on June 14, 1914. The theme for this work may have been the prospect of an ocean voyage to conduct the premiere that inspired Sibelius's thoughts to the subject of Oceanus and his three thousand daughters. The work is composed in a rondo form. The work was initially thought of as `Rondo of the Waves'. Sibelius wanted to emphasise the fact that he was not just portraying a seascape but was focused on bringing out visions of nymphs sporting on the crests of the waves. The nymphs are not seductresses and their sport reminds the listeners of a serious nature; the idea was to personify the sea itself in terms of its mystical creatures. This was later hinted also in another symphonic poem, Tapiola. Toward the end of his life, Sibelius referred to the Oceanides as one of his favourite works. He never provided a specific program for it and the listener should not be desperate to seek one. There are general impressions of high waves and the hint of a storm gathering. The concise nature of the thematic material and the colour touches by flutes, harps, clarinets and the timpani. These are all distinct devices used by the composer

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Unknown Mendelssohn This is quite a comprehensive documentary about Felix Mendelssohn. The narrative structure is based on the original letters of Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny, combined with evocative period images. Some of the most important moments of the composer’s life such as his training, his religious and cultural identity, his journey to Italy, his relation with Bach, the Leipzig years and the recent unearthing of many of his unpublished works. A blend of music and words will guide the public through Mendelssohn’s greatest masterpieces, illustrating their poetic background with images of the places that Mendelssohn himself experienced.

Mendelssohn unknown on

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy At just 9 years of age, he performed for the first time and 2 years later, he began composing. His music is performed and interpreted by the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the Thomanerchoir. Sir Peter Ustinov steps from this background to take us to some authentic places : to Leipzig where Mendelssohn lived and died, to the former Gewanduas where he resided for a long time as director of music, to Weimar and "Goethe's Gartenhaus", and to Berlin, his birthplace. Sir Peter Ustinov narrates in his incomparable way the remarkable and varied but short life of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.

Sir Peter Ustinov's Mendelssohn (I) on

Sir Peter Ustinov's Mendelssohn (II) on

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Die Ruinen von Athen

The Complete Incidental Music Berlin Symphony Hans Schonzeler The Ruins of Athens (Die Ruinen von Athen), Opus 113, is a set of incidental music pieces, written in 1811 by Ludwig van Beethoven. The music was written to accompany the play by August von Kotzebue. A second overture was written in 1822 for the same play. It was composed especially for the reopening of Vienna's Theater in der Josefstadt in 1822. The second overture is now known as The Consecration of the House (Die Weihe der Hauses).Perhaps the best-known music from The Ruins of Athens is the Overture and Turkish March, a theme that even many are familiar with. The overture and the Turkish March are often performed separately. Another of Beethoven's compositions, Six variations on an original theme, Op. 76, uses the Turkish March as its theme. The music for The Ruins of Athens was reworked in 1924 by Richard Strauss.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sibelius Musik zu Einer Scene

It is also known as the Rondo of the Waves. This was written in the Spring of 1904. Originally, it was meant as an accompaniment to a tableaux but the idea was dropped later and it was performed as an isolated piece. The music concentrates on an introduction which is highly dramatic; it subsides into an intense but lighter mood. The latter half of the music introduces an infectious dance in B Flat Major which dominates till the end. Lahti Symphony Osmo Vanka

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sibelius Scenes Historiques

Sibelius' set of Scenes Historiques forms two suites. The music was written for a patriotic pageant, staged in 1899, at a time of rising Finnish nationalism. It originally included Finlandia but it was published separately and isolated later. Scene Historiques I was written about the time of the First Symphony and it is reminiscent of it. The orchestration is lush as it picks up energy going along, closing with an allegro. Scenes Historiques II was composed around the time of the Fourth Symphony. The opening of the second suite evokes the spirit of the A Minor Symphony in much the same way that Scenes Historique I Suite is emotionally related to the E Minor First Symphony. These Scenes last for about an hour and are an excellent traversal of seldom heard Sibelius. Gothenburg Radio Neeme Jarvi

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Very Very Special Batsman

A short bio on V.V.S. Laxman, Cricketer Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman was born on 1st November 1974 at Hyderabad. He studied at Little Flower High School and St. John’s School in Hyderabad. Both his parents are doctors. He also studied medical science for a short time but later discontinued to play professional cricket. His nickname is `Very Very Special’. V.V.S. Laxman has played for Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy and for Lancashire County. He made his test debut on 20th November 1996 against South Africa at Ahmadabad. He made his one day international debut against Zimbabwe at Cuttack on 9th April 1998. He has not played any T20 Internationals nor has he played a single world cup match in one day internationals. He has played 123 tests so far, scoring 8,146 runs with a highest of 281. He has taken 124 catches and two wickets. He has 16 centuries and 52 fifties in tests. He has played 86 one day matches, scoring 2,338 runs with a highest of 131. He has 6 centuries and 10 fifties. He has taken 39 catches. He has played 427 first class matches, scoring 23,963 runs with a highest of 353. He has taken 340 catches. He has 62 centuries and 121 fifties. He has taken 30 wickets. V. V. S. Laxman is a right hand batsman and a right arm off break bowler. His highest test score of 281 against Australia at Kolkata in 2001 has been ranked sixth in Wisden’s list of hundred great test innings in history. The greatest test innings tag has gone to Sir Donald Bradman’s 270 against England at Melbourne in 1936. V.V.S. Laxman was also named Wisden’s Cricketer of the Year in 2002. He is well known for playing the spinners exceptionally well. He can play the ball to any part of the ground with the use of his wrists. He has performed well against Australia in both the tests and the one day matches. He is not considered to be a great runner between the wickets. It is interesting to note that despite playing in over 120 tests, he has not played even once in any world cup. He started his one day match account with a duck against Zimbabwe in 1998 and also scored a duck in his last one day match against South Africa in 2006. V.V.S. Laxman’s onside play is reminiscent of Mohammad Azharuddin. The Australians paid a great compliment to him when they admitted to the Australian press media that they were not able to decide where to bowl to him when India toured them in 2004. He keeps the scoreboard moving at a decent pace with his leg glances and deft placement. He possesses a great quality of remaining calm even when he is well set. He is not at all lacking in temperament. He can play any shot. He is a match turner and a match winner. He is a trusted partner and a tail ender’s companion. He is of a pleasant disposition and is very down to earth in nature. He dared to tell the selectors in the late nineties that he will play only in the middle order and not open the innings for India because he felt confident of his abilities as a middle order batsman.

Have a Gala Time in The Galapagos Islands

A short synopsis of cruises to Galapagos Islands. Galapagos Islands, known as Archipelago de Colon, are made up of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean. They are situated west of Ecuador. These islands have become a biological marine reserve area. They were first discovered and charted by Ambrose Cowley in 1684. What are the main attractions at the Galapagos Islands? They are the large turtles on the highlands and the marine iguanas on the black lava rocks. There is an abundance of penguins and cormorants. Usually, there is a naturalist guide onboard the luxury Galapagos cruises. You can explore the eco-systems on the islands and look at sea lions and whales offshore along with the pink flamingos in the lagoons. These rough and volcanic rocky islands are home to vast wildlife. There are certain adapted unique marine life creatures here that are not found anywhere else. There are many cruise operators to the Galapagos like the Responsible Travel, Celebrity Expedition Cruises, Nature Galapagos & Ecuador, Ecoventura, National Geographic Expeditions, Big Five Tours & Expeditions, Boundless Journeys, Haugan Cruises, IGTOA (International Galapagos Tour Operators’ Association) and Llama Travel. The location of the Galapagos archipelago has given it an unusual ecosystem. The set of currents and winds brings a unique variety of plants to the islands. About one-fifth of the marine species and terrestrial life that is found in the Galapagos Islands cannot be found anywhere else in the world. You can find over four hundred species of fish, one hundred and fifty species of birds and several marine mammal species in the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos Marine Reserve is the third largest marine reserve in the world. It was set up in 1998 with an area of over one hundred and thirty thousand square kilometers. The Marine Reserve service has a fleet of more than ten oceanic and semi-oceanic vessels and an aircraft to patrol the entire region and deter poachers. The Satellite Vessel Monitoring System was started over three years ago and it requires all cargo and fishing vessels to use satellite tracking mechanisms in the Marine Reserve. Many cruise operators bring tourists to the Galapagos Islands on live-aboard boats. Each boat tour requires an anchor to be dropped and this often causes damage to the coral reefs and the sea floor. Mooring buoys have been set up to reduce the impact on the marine systems under water. When you take a cruise to the Galapagos Islands in the Ecuador, you will come across unique wildlife. You can have a gala time there when you swim side-by-side with the sea lions and float with the penguins. The wildlife there is diverse with biological richness which cannot be found anywhere else on earth. The sky there is mostly sunny. The breeze from the sea creates an ideal air temperature to relax your body. The ocean is of turquoise blue color. The beaches are long and sandy. There are mangrove lagoons and coves. The islands are full of exotic sea creatures which are not afraid of you and allow you to mingle with them. People taking these cruises are in for a great time when they are introduced to many natural wonders like the blue-footed long-winged seabirds, iguanas, sea lions, giant tortoises and families of penguins. The cruise operators allow you to snorkel with the sea lions and take you on treks on the volcanic islands. You can also paddle your kayaks through the mangrove lagoons. The days that you spend on these islands will be the most memorable in your life as you cruise here. Charles Darwin visited many places here about one hundred and fifty years ago. Each day will bring in a new experience when you discover the natural wonders on these islands with a naturalist guide. These islands have been voted by many people and travel organizations as the best in the world. They are one of the most popular tourist destinations. The catamaran Athala II has been designed exclusively to cruise the Galapagos Islands. Its cabins are stylish with good ocean view through the large portrait windows instead of the portholes. The cabins on the main deck allow the extra luxury of a secluded balcony. It is better to cruise on a larger and more stable boat in order not to get sea sick. This catamaran is run by Ocean Adventures from Quito in Ecuador. You can also enjoy the Scuba Iguana Padi Resort. It offers good quality and affordable scuba diving tours and cruises in the Galapagos Islands. It is among the world’s most interesting diving sites. It is based in Puerto Ayora on the Santa Cruz Island. This region is among the seven underwater wonders of the world.

Sibelius Overture in A Minor

Overture in A minor. It was written in 1902. Premiered in Helsinki. It was written for a concert he planned for his D Major Second Symphony. The overture predicts the violin concerto and the third symphony. A theme that gets transposed is brilliantly written in A Minor. Lahti Symphony Osmo Vanska

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sibelius Vainon Virsi

Vainon's Song. Vainon Virsi. Op.110 for mixed choir and orchestra is a setting on the Kalevala legend. It was written in the spring of 1926. It was commissioned by the Society for Popular Education for a festival in Sortavala. The introduction by the full ensemble sets the ceremonial tone of the work. The choral writing is in the Kalevala style. There is a slight resemblance at the end of the coda from the first movement of the A Minor Fourth Symphony. This was the last cantata completed by Sibelius. It represents national pride. Finnish National Opera Orchestra Eri Klas