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Donald Macleod explores outlines the background behind Sibelius's last, and perhaps greatest, major orchestral work - his tone poem Tapiola. Plus two church antiphons.

In the late 1920s, at the very height of his powers, Jean Sibelius abruptly and enigmatically put down his pen.For three decades until his death in 1957 at the age of 91, he was to produce virtually no new work - living out the rest of his life shrouded in silent mystery in the depths of the forests, north of Helsinki.

Or did he? In this week's Composer Of The Week, Donald MacLeod explores and explodes the mythology cloaking the last decades of Sibelius' life.a period not quite as 'silent' as legend might have us believe.

Today's episode outlines the background behind Sibelius' last, and perhaps greatest, major orchestral work, his extraordinary, terrifying tone poem Tapiola - as well as an unexpected pair of solemn and reverent church antiphons.not at all what you might expect from this master of orchestral colour.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 17 Jan 2011 22:00

Music Played

  • Jean Sibelius

    Morceau Romantique sur un motif de Monsieur Jakob de Julin (1925)

    Performers: Lahti Symphony Orchestra / Osmo Vänskä

    • World Premiere Recording.
    • BIS CD1445.
  • Jean Sibelius

    En Glad Musikant (1924-5)

    Performers: Jaako Kuusisto (violin)

    • World Premiere Recording.
    • BIS CD1023.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Narcissus (1924-5)

    Performers: Anne-Sofie Von Otter (mezzo-soprano), Bengt Forsberg (piano)

    • BIS CD457.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Introductory Antiphons, for liturgist, choir and organ (1925) [excerpts] (I. The Lord Is M

    Performers: Esa Ruuttunen (baritone), Johanna Torikka (organ), Tapiola Chamber Choir & Friends of Sibelius / Hannu Norjanen

    • FINLANDIA 0630190542.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Danses Champetres for violin and piano, Op.106

    Performers: Yoshiko Arai (violin), Eero Heinonen (piano)

    • ONDINE ODE7562.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Tapiola, Op.112

    Performers: Herbert von Karajan (conductor), Philharmonia Orchestra Recording made in 1954

    • EMI CDS7634642.

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