Andante festivo – New Year Greetings 2015

This has been a long time coming. I have always wanted to create a video of Sibelius’s Andante festivo, a piece so dear to my heart and I’m sure to many a Sibelian. For many years I’ve sat on the idea and done several other videos but this one I’ve put off because I want it to be really good. I also have a dilemma about whether to use the recording that first introduced me to the work, or to use Sibelius’s historic 1939 recording. The decision I made this morning – playing both versions loudly on my hifi after breakfast at home – is that ultimately I’ll do both. For now though, it will be the former – Neeme Järvi’s 1982 recording on BIS with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, a very beautiful and powerful account that still sounds fantastic to this day. The CD is 30 years old.

The photos used are from my 2014 trip to Finland, mostly of Suomenlinna and a few of Karelia. I plan to make a couple of videos this coming year for Karelia. In the meantime, Happy New Year to all! Happy 2015! Happy 150th Anniversary, Jean Sibelius!

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Leon is Singapore's resident champion of Jean Sibelius.

4 thoughts on “Andante festivo – New Year Greetings 2015”

  1. Greetings from Järvenpää (again)!
    While I have always liked Andante Festivo I nowadays prefer the original string quartet version. Finnish Tempera Quartet made fine recordings of string quartets by Sibelius over ten years ago. They will perform Andante Festivo, Voces Intimae and Adagio in D minor at this year´s Sibelius Festival . You can find all those from Youtube (search with “Tempera Quartet Andante Festivo”).
    Kai Hanhilahti

    1. Hi Leon!
      I have not bought any tickets yet but I’ll try to get a good seat to at least one of the conserts (propably on saturday).

  2. I found your Andante festivo at YouTube and was dazzled by it. I too discovered the Andante festivo in this performance (I had the same LP) and it was my path into Sibelius’s music, which I now can’t imagine living without. The images were beautiful, but the way you match the famous photo of Sibelius to the end of the piece and have the photo vanish as the music ends is genius. I’m forwarding the link to many of my friends!

    I look forward to more music videos from you!

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