OSMO VÄNSKÄ CONDUCTS SIBELIUS' SECOND SYMPHONY ①
- 20230330 Thursday 20:00
- Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center
Elina Vähälä, Violin
Sibelius, Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 *original version
Sibelius, Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43
- R 100,000 S 80,000 A 50,000 B 30,000 C 10,000
※ Please do not applaud between the movements.
----------- Intermission 15 mins ---------
Jean Sibelius(1865-1957), Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47(composed in 1903~04, revised in 1905) *original version/ Korean premiere
Jean Sibelius originally wanted to become a professional violinist. So it is somewhat surprising that he wrote only one concerto for the instrument. Conceived in 1899, the first version of the concerto was premiered in 1904 but it was a fiasco. It was because the soloist for the event, Victor Nováček, failed to digest the techniques required. The critical response was harsh as well.
Sibelius was the most disappointed by this than anyone else, and discarded the score and, in 1905, published a new and revised version of the concerto that is widely performed nowadays. The discarded original version was later prohibited from playing at the request of the composer, but since 1991 it has been played restrictively under the approval of Sibelius’s family.
Whereas the 1905 version embodies Sibelius’s virtue as the composer of symphonies, the original version discloses his desire in terms of techniques as a former violinist. The biggest difference comes
into view in the first movements of each version. The length of the first movement of the 1905 version is 499 measures, whereas that of the original version is 542 measures, and one more cadenza to show off soloist’s technique is inserted at the end of the movement. The orchestration is also thicker, so it requires much more power and stamina from the soloist as well.
2 2 2 2 — 4 2 3 0 — tmp — str
Jean Sibelius(1865-1957), Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43(1901~02)
Sibelius’s Second Symphony, still the most frequently performed amongst his symphonies, scored a popular success at its premiere on 8 March 1902. At the same time, it is a meaningful work in which the composer began to discover his own musical language. The origins of this symphony can be traced back to his trip to Italy in 1901 and the novel Don Juan , in which he buried himself at the time.
At the premiere in 1902, the Finnish audience welcomed the symphony as a nationalistic work and cheered enthusiastically. Finland was going through a turbulent time under Russian oppression, and the Finnish people ardently sought to find a message of victory similar to that of Sibelius’s previous work, Finlandia(1899). Although the composer himself determinedly rejected such a nationalistic approach as this throughout his life, his Second Symphony to this day remains a source of inspiration and pride for the Finnish people.
The first movement is based on the three-note-motif that forms the core of various themes introduced throughout the whole symphony, and begins with a string melody that repeats an ascending scale.
The slow second movement is dominated by the motif of Don Juan which gave him an inspiration for the composition of the symphony. In the third movement, the scherzo part of dynamic strings and the soft and sad pastoral song of woodwind instruments alternate. In the final movement, the three-notemotif that dominated the whole symphony evolves into a theme in a heroic mood. The energetic first theme led by string instruments and the powerful roar of brass instruments responding to the strings is significant and meaningful as if promising eventual victory over adversity.
2 2 2 2 — 4 3 3 1 — tmp — str
Text by Anna S. Roh / Translation SukHo Lee