đŸŽ»â™«â™Ș – PellĂ©as et MĂ©lisande Suite by Jean Sibelius

List Item: Listen to half of the 1001 Classical Works You Must Hear Before You Die
79/501Title: Pelléas et Mélisande Suite
Composer: Jean Sibelius
Nationality: Finnish

A while ago, I listened to my first Sibelius piece in the form of his patriotic Finlandia. He has plenty of other pieces of the list, which just by name go to show how much of a thematic outlier it is.

Interestingly, Pelléas et Mélisande Suite is actually incidental music written by Sibelius to be played alongside the performances of the Swedish translation of the play of the same name. This was later taken and slightly expanded on to make this suite, but the piece maintains the same structure of nine tracks that correspond to different parts of the play. Incidental music is something that Sibelius did a fair bit of, but this is the only example on the classical list.

What I really appreciated in this piece was the very large woodwind section. There are some strings and a drum, but the predominant family of instruments was woodwind. It’s only really hit me that there was no piano, which does make for a refreshing change of pace. I loved that this piece also had a very pastoral feeling, similar to the feeling that Mahler gave me a month ago.

I have no context for what the play was actually about, but I don’t feel that I need it. The piece stands wry well in its own right and makes me look forward to all the other Sibelius pieces, most of them tone poems to come.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.