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Robert Olson Photograph

Scandinavia

Saturday February 28, 2015 - 7:30 pm.
Vance Brad Civic Auditorium
Skyline High School
600 E Mountain View Ave, Longmont, CO 80504


Robert Olson- Conductor

Lina Bahn - Violin


 

Scandinavia

I don’t know if my love of Sibelius’ music has anything to do with the fact half of my heritage comes from his general neck of the woods (Sibelius being Finnish, I am half Norwegian), or the mere fact that it is simply great music, but resonate it does with me!  It is a treat to present an all-Sibelius concert.
   We have made a slight program change; instead of the listed opening number, Lemminkainen’s Return, we are doing Sibelius’ most popular and well-known work, Finlandia … for all practical purposes, the national anthem of Finland.  Little needs to be said about this outstanding work that inspires a heartwarming sense of nationalism.
  We are thrilled to present Lina Bahn performing one of my most favorite violin concertos, that of Sibelius.  I’ll never forget the first time I heard it … I just couldn’t believe it!  It seemed like it was “gypsy music at its very best”.  Incredibly passionate and seemingly “free spirited” (at least compared to the Beethoven or Brahms violin concerto), it still brings out the gypsy in me every time I hear the piece.  It is also one of the more difficult concertos in the repertoire, and I’m certain this performance will be one to remember.  I am grateful for my connection to the CU College of Music, for they have provided many wonderful soloists over the years.
   The Second Symphony is the most well-known of his symphonies, for good reason…. no matter what you think of the first three movements, you will be brought to the edge of your seat by the finale.  The first two movements reflect the “darkness” one thinks of re: the Scandinavian countries … you know, the eternal winter nights, the relentless cold.  Sibelius is able to completely capture the Finnish landscape with his various colors.  The Third movement is a combination of a very rapid (and very difficult) scherzo, contrasted with a very slow, mournful tune played by first the oboe, then all the strings.  This movement segues into the last movement, which earns its sense of power by constantly repeating musical ideas over a pedal point .. a repeated bass tone over which a composer can “get away” with almost any dissonance.  It is a heroic and triumphant ending.

   Join us … bring a warm sweater to help you through the long, wintry night, and be ready to be thrilled by the passionate music of Jean Sibelius

Robert Olson, conductor

 

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