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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy Andante Festivo by Jean Sibelius (1865-1957):

YouTube blurb:
The 'Andante festivo' was written for string quartet in 1922 shortly before the Sixth Symphony. The composer later expanded it for string orchestra with 'ad lib' timpani, and on 1 January 1939 he conducted a performance in Helsinki for short-wave radio transmission to the World Exhibition in New York. This performance was preserved on wax as a poignant historical memento. It was the last time Sibelius conducted, and is the only known recorded exemple of his conducting. The noble, seamless melody is as close as he came to a religious statement. There are, in addition, intriguing suggestions of Dvorak's Symphony 'From the New World' (or is it 'God Save the Queen'?) and Sibelius' own later Seventh Symphony, and an unmistakeable final 'Amen' cadence. (c) Robert Dearling, 1993


  1. Haven't listened to much Sibelius outside Finlandia .

    Should pay him more attention. Thanks for posting.

  2. Haven't listened to much Sibelius outside Finlandia .

    Should pay him more attention. Thanks for posting.

    1. Don't miss the VIOLIN CONCERTO.

      A marvelous LIVE performance by Sarah Chang is available on YouTube.

      The old Heifetz recording has been equalled any number of tmes, but has never been surpassed.

      Others that have struck me as particularly good are by Shlomo Mintz and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.

      An interestng sidelight: The American premier of the Sibelius violin concerto was given at Carnegie Hall by Maude Powell (1867-1920), an astonishing AMERICAN violinist who sprang from Peru, Illinois, a little prairie town. She began her formal education in Aurora, Illinois, at age 7, but her talent was so pronounced she was soon sent to Europe and placed first in the entrance exam at the Paris Conservatory. Her parents were both educated, but it's frankly uncanny that such a talent could emerge from the hinterlands in the late nineteenth-century when that part of the century was literally nothing but corn and wheat fields stretching as far as the eye could see. [I happened to have lived in Aurora, myself, from 1953-1955, but never heard a word about Powell back then.].


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