November 22, 2015

SIBELIUS at 150 – A Blog

Sibelius Graphic1


Here is little dose of Sibelius to make your day. Not one, but two videos of Flickan kom ifrån sin älsklings möteOkay. I know it’s hard to pronounce, but just say “Flickan” and everyone will know. The story is this…

The girl comes back from a tryst with her lover and her mother says,
Why are your hands so red?
The girl answers – I have been gathering berries and the thorns have stung them –
The next time the mother asks – Why are lips so red? –
The girl answers – I have been eating berries and the juice has stained my lips…

I hate to give it away, but this does not end well. (Said lover is unfaithful. Girl confesses all to mother, asks for a coffin.)

Anyway, the great Marian Anderson nails this song – see if you can tell when the things go south with the lovers. Interesting that Anderson not only knew Sibelius, but he even composed songs for her. He thought she had a true “Nordic soul,” which they discussed over champagne in his living room. (More Sibelius Living Room Stories to come…)

Humor me, I must share one more for all you song geeks out there. Here now is a real Finn singing the same song, the wonderful Tom Krause (RIP). And this ties it all back to Philly, and to LF. Laura and I worked with Tom Krause on art song in Cincinnati, when we were still wet behind the ears…sigh. Later, Tom lived on the mainline with his American wife, and taught at The Academy of Vocal Arts.

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