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!


Klami Whirls and his Violin Concerto

Cover Illustration by Peter Schoenecker. This article was first published in 1998.


Uuno Klami
(1900 – 1961)  is considered by many as the finest 20th century, non-contemporary, Finnish composer after Jean Sibelius. Significantly, Klami’s musical style is far different from his illustrious contemporary (and in a sense, predecessor). Rather than attempt to succeed Sibelius’ “organic” methods or soundworlds, which have never been matched, Klami’s music is much closer to what most listeners would term “20th century”. At the same time, it is highly original and very atmospheric. In some cases, as in his well-known Sea Pictures, it is all atmosphere. Continue reading Klami Whirls and his Violin Concerto