Sibelius’s Sixth and Seventh Symphonies: A Preview

Sibelius’s Sixth and Seventh Symphonies. On the surface, the two works are vastly different in all aspects. It is curious, therefore, to realize that Sibelius wrote them more or less simultaneously, and they share many musical bits between them.

More important, both are unqualified masterpieces of the Finnish composer’s final creative period. I love them both, but the Sixth remains one of my absolute favorite works of classical music (long-time readers will remember that in my very first blog post, I recounted my story of driving 500 miles to hear Osmo conduct the Sixth in his very first concert with the Minnesota Orchestra, long before he was appointed music director).

As Osmo and the Orchestra gear up to perform and record both works as part of the 2014-2015 season finale, I wanted to provide a preview to these stunning works. Continue reading

Genius: Shakespeare, Berlioz, and Sibelius

The Minnesota Orchestra’s Shakespeare Winterfest is coming to a close… but not without presenting one last concert that I’ve been waiting for all season. We are getting two wholly original masterpieces: Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été and selections from Sibelius’s The Tempest.

That sound you hear in the background is me doing a little dance at my computer just thinking about it.

Allow me to provide a preview of the concert. Continue reading