Finland Awakes

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
The liner notes for almost any recording of Jean Sibelius' "Finlandia" will tell you that it originated as the finale of a patriotic suite composed in 1899, performed to introduce a series of theatrical tableaux depicting scenes from Finnish history. Conceived to rally for freedom of the press when Russia was wielding repressive power in Finland, the complete "Press Celebrations Music" has been little heard, though in addition to "Finlandia" originally called "Finland Awakes", Sibelius reworked three other sections as the "Scènes historiques," Op. 25. Yet in its original form this is a substantial and extremely powerful work; coming as the culmination of variously ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
The liner notes for almost any recording of Jean Sibelius' "Finlandia" will tell you that it originated as the finale of a patriotic suite composed in 1899, performed to introduce a series of theatrical tableaux depicting scenes from Finnish history. Conceived to rally for freedom of the press when Russia was wielding repressive power in Finland, the complete "Press Celebrations Music" has been little heard, though in addition to "Finlandia" originally called "Finland Awakes", Sibelius reworked three other sections as the "Scènes historiques," Op. 25. Yet in its original form this is a substantial and extremely powerful work; coming as the culmination of variously inspiring, bleak, charming, and aggressive vignettes from the nation's history, the blazing optimism of "Finlandia" sounds better and more truly thrilling than it ever has in isolation. Some of the other movements tread familiar Sibelian ground in fresh ways, such as the archaic, legendary territory of "Väinämöinen's Song," while others resonate with his heroic symphonic style. Most striking, though, are "The Baptism of the Finns" and "The Great Hostility," written in an austerely expressive style that Sibelius would not approach again until his great Fourth Symphony. Osmo Vänskä and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra give an exemplary performance of their countryman's music, stormy on the whole yet playful where required, and they clearly identify with the composer's nationalist pride. Filling out this volume of the complete Sibelius edition on Bis are patriotic choral works from the same period, with spoken narration added in "The Breaking of the Ice on the Oulu River." Not from Sibelius' top drawer, to be sure, there is still an appealing and robust simplicity to these choruses for the Finnish common man, which round out our image of this ever-fascinating composer.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/15/2000
  • Label: Bis
  • EAN: 7318590011157
  • Catalog Number: 1115

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Osmo Vänskä Primary Artist
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