Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) Impromptu
based on Impromptus Op. 5 Nos.5 and 6 edited by Frank Reinisch [strOrch] duration: 6'
The Impromptu for string orchestra was long forgotten; only after the publication of the first edition in 1986 did the work swiftly conquer its place next to the Finnish composer's other works for string orchestra.
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The present Impromptu was written in early 1894, when Jean Sibelius compiled the piano Impromptus op. 5 nos. 5 and 6, which he had just recently composed, and orchestrated them for string ensemble. Although vastly different in spirit and gesture, the two character studies nevertheless give rise to a unified whole since Sibelius transforms the main theme from the tempestuous piano Impromptu no. 5 (Vivace) into a calm Andantino that provides the framework for the newly fashioned Impromptu. In this new form, the theme harmonizes perfectly with the elegiac middle section (Meno andantino) which reprises the piano Impromptu no. 6 without change and practically note for note.