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Jean Sibelius
Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 43
1. I. Allegretto
2. II. Tempo andante, ma rubato
3. III. Vivacissimo
4. IV. Finale: Allegro moderato

5. Symphony No. 7 in C Op. 105

Karelia Suite Op. 11
6. 1. Intermezzo (Moderato)
7. 2. Ballade (Tempo di menuetto)
8. 3. Alla marcia (Moderato)

CD 2

Violin Concerto in D minor Op. 47
1. I. Allegro moderato
2. II. Adagio di molto
3. III. Allegro ma non tanto

Four Legends from the Kalevala Op. 22
4. 1. Lemminkäinen and the Maidens of Saari
5. 2. The Swan of Tuonela
6. 3. Lemminkäinen in Tuonela
7. 4. Lemminkäinen’s Return

Thomas Jensen Legacy, Vol. 1 ©
By Martin Granau

Born on 8 December, 1865, a few months after Nielsen, Jean Sibelius was a comparable Ô¨Āgure with his contemporary, as both an international symphonist and the musical embodiment of Finnish national identity. An early career as a violinist led to experience abroad, in Berlin and especially Vienna, that shaped him as a composer. Decisive encounters with the music of Bruckner and Wagner were slowly digested in his own orchestral music not only the cycle of seven symphonies but also the twelve symphonic poems and ten suites of incidental music largely based on Finnish myths and dramas. Nielsen‚Äôs death in 1931 also happens to coincide roughly with the end of his contemporary‚Äôs creative output, Sibelius having largely surrendered himself to international fame, the comfort of a state pension and the solace of the whisky bottle after completing the incidental music to The Tempest in 1926.

Sibelius extracted the Karelia Suite from a longer sequence of incidental music depicting the eponymous region between Finland and Russia. Karelian folk costumes and applied art were also displayed at the historical pageant which hosted the premiere in 1893 at Viborg University, at a time when the Finns were becoming more and more restive about their status as a political annex of Russia and a cultural subsidiary of Sweden.

Composed two years later in 1895, the Four Legends from the Kalevala also took on signiÔ¨Ācance as an emblem of Finnish independence. The Kalevala had been Ô¨Ārst published in 1835, compiled and edited by Elias L√∂nnrot from epic poems collected throughout the regions of what would, in time, become Finland. The Lemmink√§inen Suite (also named Four Legends from the Kalevala) introduces one of the epic‚Äôs heroes, as he Ô¨Ārst seduces the women of an island and then Ô¨āees from their husbands; his own fatal encounter with a mystical swan; then back to a version of his death in which his mother travels to Tuonela, recovers his body parts, reassembles him and restores him to life. The exhilarating Ô¨Ānale depicts Lemmink√§inen‚Äôs journey home after his adventures in battle.

Dating from 1901-02, the Second Symphony was both an apotheosis of the Romantic symphony in its Russian form and a breakthrough work for Sibelius. Despite his cautioning against such a simplistic interpretation, the symphony, and in particular the theme of its Ô¨Ānale, was read at the time as the proclamation of a patriotic manifesto at a time of increasing Russian repression. The force of this particular live performance may in part derive from its taking place in the Finnish capital, Helsinki.

The Violin Concerto of 1904-5 continued Sibelius‚Äôs increasingly bold experiments with form, even within the conventional sonata form-intermezzo-dance Ô¨Ānale layout. The soloist on this 1952 recording (made by the Danish Tono label, founded in 1949) was the Hungarian-born Emil Telm√°nyi, son-in-law to Nielsen and Ô¨Ārst performer of Nielsen‚Äôs Violin Concerto. For a tiny demonstration of the care Jensen took over phrasing in this music, try the wind-duet introduction to the slow movement, a masterpiece of songful speech articulation.

The single-movement Seventh Symphony, completed in 1924, marked the culmination of Sibelius‚Äôs life as a composer ‚Äď and this May 1963 studio broadcast likewise marked the culmination of Thomas Jensen‚Äôs career, a matter of months before his death.

RELEASE DATE: June 2021

CATALOGUE NUMBER: DACOCD 911

EAN: 5709499911006