Seduced by Sibelius

Earlier this week I decided I needed to detach from the internet for at least a couple of evenings, so did the natural thing that any self respecting couch potato would do – binge watched a TV show from the internet. Hey – at least I was sitting on the couch instead of in front of the computer, right?After digging through the various TV shows available on either Netflix, or Amazon Prime, I ended up picking at random. There had been this big banner for “Mozart in the Jungle” splashed across the Prime interface for a while, and I had taken no notice – advertising rarely has that much of an effect on me – but for whatever reason this time, I clicked on it.

Oh. My. Word. There are probably hundreds of TV shows I haven’t seen, so I’m not the best judge in the world – but holy crap was it good. Over the course of two nights we watched the entire first season – charting the arrival of a new conductor at the New York Symphony orchestra, and the various back stabbing, shenanigans, and political maneuvering that you can fully imagine goes on behind the scenes.

I’m not going to ruin the story for you – but I am going to make mention of a piece of music that arrives in the final episode – Sibelius Violin Concerto. I’ve always liked classical music, but have only really ever listened to the likes of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Wagner, Mussorgsky, Orff, Ravel, and so on – but there is obviously a huge swathe of music I’ve never really listened to by all of those composers. I had heard of Sibelius, because of the Karelia suite (go search for it – you’ll know it), but had no real knowledge of anything else he had done.

The Violin Concerto stayed with me over the next day – I was humming it the next morning, and ended up looking it up on the internet to play while working. It’s continued to bounce around my head during the quieter moments ever since.

Through the wonders of the internet, I can of course provide you with a sample of it;<iframe width="100%" height="400" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F206466890&visual=true&show_artwork=true&callback=YUI.

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JSONP.yui_3_17_2_1_1453409897972_16367&wmode=opaque”>Isn’t it amazing ? I’m not sure quite why I like it so much, but suddenly I want to listen to more music like it – and herein lies the problem. Much as a new reader might walk into a library and not know where to start, I’m doing the same with classical music. It really is the “undiscovered country” for me, which is both daunting, and exciting at the same time.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to click on that sample above, and have another listen. Go do the same – close the door, or put some headphones on, turn the volume up, close your eyes, and enjoy.

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