Magazine article Gramophone

Sibelius: Andantino

Magazine article Gramophone

Sibelius: Andantino

Article excerpt

Sibelius

Andantino, JS44. Allegretto, JS18. Largo, JS117. Impromptus, Op 5--No 2; No 5. Ten Pieces, Op 24 --Caprice; Romance. Finlandia, Op 26. Musette, Op 27 No 3. Polka, 'Aino'. Valse triste, Op 44 No 1. Pan and Echo, Op 53. Rondino, Op 68 No 1. The Spruce, Op 75 No 5. Thirteen Pieces, Op 76 --Etude; Arabesque; Elegiaco; Capriccietto; Harlequinade. Five Pieces, 'The Flowers', Op 85. Two Pieces for Oscar Parviainen. Eight Short Pieces, Op 99--Souvenir; Moment de valse. ScCne romantique, Op 101 No 5. The Village Church, Op 103 No 1. Landscape II FolkeGrSsbeckpf BIS [F] BIS2132 (81' * DDD)

Sibelius's Steinway grand was a gift from a large cohort of his supporters on his 50th birthday in 1915. That means it was the instrument on which he would have tried out passages from his Sixth and Seventh symphonies as well as other late works (Andrew Barnett's helpful essay points out that he did most of his composing at his desk). It also means that only the second half of the 31 tracks on this more than generously filled disc was composed at the time he owned the instrument. Not that this is a worry, given the attractively woody quality of the piano, the sensitivity with which Folke Grasbeck handles it and his judicious selection of repertoire from a time-span of more than 40 years. …

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