Sibelius: Presto in D major for string orchestra, etc.

Ondine: ODE9522

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Sibelius: Presto in D major for string orchestra, etc.



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Presto in D major for string orchestra

Suite mignonne, Op. 98a

Suite champêtre, Op. 98b

Suite caractéristique, Op. 100

Pelléas and Mélisande Suite, Op. 46

Cassazione, Op. 6

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Jean Sibelius: Cassazione, Op. 6

Cassazione, Op. 6

Jean Sibelius: Presto in D Major

Presto in D Major

Jean Sibelius: Suite mignonne, Op. 98a (version for 2 flutes and string orchestra)

I. Petite Scene

II. Polka

III. Epilogue

Jean Sibelius: Suite champetre, Op. 98b

I. Piece caracteristique

II. Melodie elegiaque

III. Danse

Jean Sibelius: Suite caracteristique, Op. 100

I. Vivo

II. Lento

III. Comodo

Jean Sibelius: Pelleas and Melisande, Op. 46 (version for orchestra)

I. At the Castle Gate

II. Melisande

IIa. At the Seashore

III. A Spring in the Park

IV. The 3 Blind Sisters

V. Pastorale

VI. Melisande at the Spinning Wheel

VII. Entr'acte

VIII. The Death of Melisande

Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“Don't let the low opus number hoodwink you: Cassazione dates from 1904 and was first given under Sibelius's baton at the same Helsinki concert as the premiere of the first version of the Violin Concerto. Revised the following year but never published, it's well worth hearing, containing as it does echoes of both Pelleas andMelisande and the Second Symphony's finale.
The dashing Presto began life as the third movement of Sibelius's Op 4 String Quartet in B flat of 1889-90, and was subsequently transcribed for string orchestra in 1894. The three suites date from 1921-2. True, the Suite caractéristique serves up a pretty thin brew, but both the Suitemignonne and Suite champêtre contain their fair share of felicities and are delightfully scored.
These performances from Tuomas Ollila and the Tapiola Sinfonietta evince a bracing, unsentimental thrust and high degree of technical finish, though some will crave more in the way of affectionate charm and tingling atmosphere.
However, it's in the Pelleas and Melisande incidental music that these newcomers truly throw down the gauntlet. There's no hint of the customary portentous grandeur in Ollila's 'At the Castle Gate', a nervy urgency that resurfaces with a vengeance in 'Melisande at the Spinning Wheel' and the ensuing 'Entr'acte'. Elsewhere, those screaming winds and sul ponticello strings at the heart of 'At the Seashore' set one's teeth on edge, while textures throughout are uncommonly transparent. What's missing is any real sense of poignancy or pathos: 'The Death of Melisande' is very cool, the characteristically bleached string timbre emphasising the disconcertingly pristine, self-conscious mood. An intriguing and intelligent re-think, then, but not to all tastes (anyone brought up on, say, Beecham will be in for a shock). Crystal-clear, slightly clinical sound.”

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