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SIBELIUS: Scenes historiques I and II / King Christian II Suite

Composer(s):Sibelius, Jean
Artist(s) Inkinen, Pietari, Conductor • New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.570068
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps

Sibelius’s first set of Scènes historiques forms a suite taken from music for a patriotic pageant, staged in 1899 at a time of increasing Finnish nationalism and originally including Finlandia, which was published separately. For his Scènes Historiques II Sibelius composed new music. In the opening The Chase, horns are heard through the mist, followed by the wild chase, with its impelling rhythms. The incidental music for Adolf Paul’s play King Christian II, set in the 16th century, deals with the King’s love of a commoner, her murder by a jealous rival and the King’s bloodthirsty revenge. It includes a strongly-felt love scene, Nocturne, with many elements characteristic of the composer’s future musical



Review By Record Geijutsu,May 2011


Review By Record Geijutsu,March 2009


Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

The first set of Scénes historiques was drawn from the patriotic pageant mounted in 1899 that included the celebrated Finlandia which served to put Sibelius firmly on the map. The second is much later and includes poetic vignette, At the drawbridge and The Chase. All of them show Sibelius at his most characteristic. The incidental music for King Christian II, a play by his friend Adolf Paul, also comes from the late 1890s. The New Zealanders are thoroughly in sympathy with Sibelius’s world and play with enthusiasm for their Finnish conductor.

Review By David Denton, Naxos,January 2008

Maybe New Zealand is a very long way from the bleak winds that blow through the music of Sibelius, but with the young Finnish conductor, Pietari Inkinen, in charge, it is a wind that whistles through these performances in a way that is usually the provenance of north European ensembles. Both of Sibelius’s Scenes historiques are included, Inkinen showing that he is not afraid of slow tempos at the appropriate moments, while he revels in taking the orchestra down to a whisper. He keenly characterises each highly descriptive section with playing that is uncommonly neat, though much of the clarity comes from his perfect weighting of instruments. The suites contained a political implication, their date of composition in 1911 and 1912 placing them at the height of the



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