Today's Classical Music Video

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Karita Mattila sings Sibelius

This week and next, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra celebrates the music of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius with performances of all seven of his symphonies, plus several tone poems and orchestral pieces with violin solo.  Sadly, there won't be any vocal music on the program.  Sibelius composed a short opera, Jungfrun i Tornet (Maiden in the Tower) that was not a success, and the composer withdrew it.  But he composed nearly 150 songs, some of the most beautiful in the song repertoire. I vividly recall many years ago Elisabeth Soderstrom in Toronto singing these songs - that performance is forever etched in memory. Many singers have recorded them, including Soderstrom of course, but also Kirsten Flagstad, Jussi Bjoerling, Tom Krause, and Birgit Nilsson in the past.  Well known modern recordings include those by Barbara Bonney, Karita Mattila, and Solie Isokoski.  To celebrate TSO's Sibelius Festival, I have chosen one of Sibelius' most glorious creations, "The Tryst" (Flickan kom ifran sin alsklings mote), sung by Finnish soprano Karita Mattila. She sings with such incredible passion and intensity that you can't help but be moved by her. 

- Joseph K. So



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