The TSO does all of the Sibelius Symphonies, part 1
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Thomas Dausgaard, conductor
Pekka Kuusisto, violin

Thursday April 15, 2010 2pm
Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto

Sibelius: Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 39
Sibelius: Humoresque No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 87, No. 1
Sibelius: Humoresque No. 2 in D Major, Op. 87, No. 2
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43


It can be an interesting experience listening to a full show featuring only one composer's work. Assuming the composer doesn't just do the same things over and over again anyway.

In the case of Sibelius, the experience is interesting ... particualary when you get works like his 1st and 2nd Symphony juxtaposed. There's a marked difference in sound between the two ... the 1st has less of the characteristic sound I associate with Sibelius' orchestral works; a certain spareness, a certain starkness, one might almost say "coldness" but that's not a word I'd apply to this composer's work. By the 2nd Symphony, Sibelius had established his "sound". And, in the 2nd, a more individual style of thematic development and structuring is more apparent. Back to back, in a focused listening enviroment (which a concert hall should be, although the people who insist on unwrapping candies, decide to inflict their possible terminal coughing on others, and whoever had a misadjusted hearing aid that projected a high-pitched electronic whine for the bulk of the first half of the show seem to disagree with my assertion), the evolution of Sibelius's thinking was clearly evident.

I pause here, as I really don't have much to say. It's not like I have to pump out a review to get paid or something; if I have nothing to say, I'll skip writing. I should mention the Humouersques as well ... fascinating pieces ... but again, I have little of note to say.

Brevity ... that might be the theme of this reviewing trilogy. Somewhat appropriate, given Sibelius's reputation.

End of PART 1.
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