Classical Music

Classical home listening: Sibelius songs; The Future Is Female: Vol 2 | Classical music

Sibelius’s songs, each compressed into a matter of a few minutes, occupy a landscape as singular and potent as his symphonies. Mostly written for voice and piano to Swedish texts, they are a key part of the Finnish composer’s repertoire: he wrote more than 100. In Jean Sibelius: Orchestral Songs (Lawo), the Norwegian mezzo-soprano Marianne Beate Kielland and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, conducted by Petr Popelka, have brought together 18 songs in orchestral versions by, among others, Sibelius’s contemporary, Simon Parmet; his son-in-law, the Finnish conductor Jussi Jalas; and the British composer Colin Matthews.

Keilland’s even tone, flexibility and brilliant sensitivity to the text make this a rewarding collection, the intensity and drama of each song powerful and impassioned. In the opening song, Höstkväll, Op 38, No 1 (1903-4), the voice soars straight to the heights, lamenting and anguished, while the orchestral writing – Sibelius’s own – grinds out a haunting low chord. If you didn’t know that it was about a lonely wanderer, a windswept lake and a darkening forest (texts are provided), you might easily guess, so vivid is this short, haunting drama.

The Future is Female, Vol. 2, ‘The Dance’ Sarah Cahill, piano

The American pianist Sarah Cahill’s project The Future Is Female features more than 70 female composers from the 18th century to the present, from all over the world. Volume 2 (of three), The Dance (First Hand; released 21 October) opens with an elegant baroque suite, No 1 in D minor, from Pièces de clavecin (1687) by Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665-1729), a musician at the court of Louis XIV, and brings us up to date with She Dances Naked Under Palm Trees (2019) by the Chinese-American cellist and composer Theresa Wong (b.1976).

The pleasure of this album is the variety of styles on offer, from Tango Si (1984) by Betsy Jolas to Meredith Monk’s St Petersburg Waltz (1997), via Clara Schumann, Germaine Tailleferre, Madeleine Dring and Elena Kats-Chernin.

To mark World Mental Health Day (on 10 October), Music Matters investigates the relationship between mental health and music with the help of Radio 3’s first researcher in residence, Dr Sally Marlow, a mental health specialist at King’s College London; the composer Gavin Higgins; and the City of London Sinfonia’s Sound Young Minds programme. Radio 3, Saturday 8 October, 11.45am/BBC Sounds.

Source link

Related posts

Some local music events in 2021

Mary McCartney

Berliners and Petrenko Exceed Lofty Expectations

Mary McCartney

Listening to a carol service minus the faith

Mary McCartney

Leave a Comment