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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Jean Sibelius - Jedermann (Leif Segerstam)


Composer: Jean Sibelius
  • (01-17) Jedermann (Jokamies/Everyman), incidental music, Op. 83
  • (18) Two Serious Melodies, for violin & orchestra, Op. 77: No. 1 Cantique (Laetare anima mea)
  • (19) Two Serious Melodies, for violin & orchestra, Op. 77: No. 2 Devotion (Ab imo pectore)
  • (20) In memoriam, Op. 59

Pia Pajala, soprano (6-8)
Tuomas Katajala, tenor (5)
Nicholas Söderlund, bass (8, 9)
Cathedralis Aboensis Choir (5, 9, 10, 17)
Mikaela Palmu, violin (18, 19)
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Leif Segerstam, conductor

Date: 2015
Label: Naxos



The lion’s share of Vol 4 is given over to what is only the second complete recording of the extensive score that Sibelius supplied for the Finnish National Theatre’s November 1916 staging of Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Jedermann, anadaptation of the medieval morality play Everyman. This dates from the period when the composer was immersed in the second version of his Fifth Symphony and was a venture that incontestably ignited his imagination – just sample the searchingly inspired string-writing in Nos 11 and 14, the commodious skip of No 4 (‘Dance Song’) and No 8 (‘Oi, Lempi, armas Lempi!’), or the stoically affirmative angels’ chorus which closes proceedings. Throughout, Sibelius employs his varied vocal, choral and instrumental forces (including piano and organ) with striking resourcefulness. Segerstam’s often daringly spacious conception absorbingly complements Vänskä’s splendid Lahti account – diehard Sibelians will, I fancy, want to have both – while Turku PO member Mikaela Palmu responds with big-hearted dedication in the lovely Two Serious Melodies for violin and orchestra (1914 15). Alas, to my ears at any rate, Segerstam’s waywardly measured view of the glowering 1910 tone-poem In memoriam doesn’t come off, but everything else on this finely engineered disc most certainly does

-- Andrew AchenbachGramophone

More reviews:


Jean Sibelius (8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957) was a Finnish violinist and composer of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. His music contributed to the development of a feeling of national identity in Finland where he is now celebrated as the country's greatest composer. Sibelius is widely known for his seven symphonies, the violin concerto and the tone poems, especially Finlandia and the Karelia suite. Throughout his career, the composer found inspiration in nature and Nordic mythology. He almost completely stopped composing after 1920s and did not produce any large-scale works in his last thirty years.


Leif Segerstam (born 2 March 1944 in Vaasa, Ostrobothnia, Finland) is a Finnish conductor, composer, violinist, violist and pianist, especially known for his 309 symphonies, along with his other works in his extensive œuvre. Segerstam has conducted in a variety of orchestras since 1963, mostly American, Australian and European orchestras. He is widely known through his recorded discography, which includes the complete symphonies of Blomdahl, Brahms, Mahler, Nielsen, and Sibelius, as well as many works by contemporary composer.


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