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SIBELIUS Pelleas et Melisande. Pia Pajala, Sari Nordqvist, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra / Leif Segerstam. Naxos

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Sibelius Pelleas Et Melisande Pia Philharmonic Orchestra Leif Segerstam Naxos

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
Pelléas et Mélisande


Musik zu einer Szene • Valse lyrique
Valse chevaleresque • Morceau romantique

Pia Pajala, Soprano
Sari Nordqvist, Mezzo-soprano
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra / Leif Segerstam

No sooner had Sibelius moved to the town of Järvenpää in 1904 than he was commissioned by the Swedish Theatre to write incidental music for Maeterlinck’s Pelléas et Mélisande. At the time it was his most ambitious undertaking in the genre of incidental music and his setting included ten scenes, only one of which was cut when he adapted the piece as a concert suite. Dating from the same year, Musik zu einer Szene was originally intended to accompany a tableau and is full of striking contrasts. The two waltzes of 1921 are transcriptions of piano pieces, and reveal the potent influence of Tchaikovsky.

This is the third volume of six in this Sibelius series. The focus of this album is Sibelius’s incidental music and transcriptions. The main piece, Pélleas et Mélisande, has often been recorded but is seen here in the context of his other theatrical pieces, emphasizing a different side of Sibelius as a theatre composer. Musik zu einer Szene, Op.96 is much lighter, and was also written for theatrical performance. The other small pieces, Valse Lyrique Op.96a and Valse Chevaleresque Op.96c, are transcriptions of piano originals, and are both examples of Tchaikovsky’s influence on Sibelius’ compositions.

Leif Segerstam is a conductor, composer, violinist and pianist with a prominent international career. Since 2012 he has been Chief Conductor of Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. From autumn 1997 to spring 2013 Leif Segerstam was Professor of Orchestra Conducting at the Sibelius Academy. He was awarded the 1999 Nordic Council Music Prize for his work “as a tireless champion of Scandinavian music” and the Swedish Cultural Foundation’s Prize for Music in 2003. In 2004 Leif Segerstam was awarded the annual Finnish State Prize for Music and in 2005 the highly esteemed Sibelius Medal. He has gained wide acclaim for his many recordings with different orchestras. While pursuing his conducting career, Segerstam has also produced an extensive oeuvre as a composer.

Naxos 8573301

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