Fauré's "Pelléas et Mélisande"
Sibelius' 5th Symphony
Conductor: Jesper K. Ryskin
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Notes from the conductor
The Autumn program of KUSO this time consists of what you could nearly consider contemporary music, at least more recent music in the classical music timeline.
Beginning the program is Fauré's “Pelléas et Mélisande”, which is a suite of music based on the music Fauré made for the play’s London performance in 1898. Fauré wrote the music for the play in just two months, and therefore used different themes he had previously drafted, but never used. The Sicilienne was indeed from an unfinished score.
The music by Fauré is at the same time impressionistic and romantic, and includes some of the most known themes in classical music.
After this follows Sibelius 5th Symphony from 1915, which follows up on last summer's successful performance of his 2nd symphony. Sibelius’ works are not easy to play, but as Sibelius himself described, it was "It is as if God Almighty had thrown down pieces of a mosaic for heaven's floor and asked me to find out what was the original pattern."
The symphony was a change in style for Sibelius, who had seen that the style he had used for his previous symphonies was becoming irrelevant in the contemporary scene, with composers such as Stravinsky introducing radical new elements in the music. The 5th symphony has a combination of minimalism – with ever-repeating patterns – together with Sibelius’ flair for orchestral grandeur, and provides an extremely beautiful and intoxicating journey through new and existing melodic paths.