Sibelius' Seventh Symphony and a violin concerto by Roslavets
- Jean Sibelius Seventh symphony
- Nikolai Roslavets First violin concerto
Repressed beauty in the still young Soviet Union: Simone Lamsma and Olari Elts make a case for a (still) unknown violin concerto, next to Sibelius' Seventh Symphony, one year older.
In 1924, the Finn Jean Sibelius completed his last symphony in the most inventive C major ever. He condensed this Seventh into a single movement with numerous extremely supple tempo changes. He called the work an antique Greek symphony: "the trombones are used as musical instruments from antiquity".
Simone Lamsma plays Roslavets
Nikolai Roslavets, almost a generation younger than Sibelius, was one of the most headstrong figures in his surroundings. He refused to write simple 'proletarian' music, took sides - clumsily - with Stalin's opponent Trotsky and was sidelined: he became head of the still fledgling Radio in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. His First Violin Concerto from 1925 was only found in Gorbachev's later days. Here Roslavets sounds at his best: sometimes mysterious like the late Skrjabin, but more 'apollonian', never too ecstatic.