Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) Luonnotar Op. 70
Tone Poem – Urtext based on the Complete Edition “Jean Sibelius Works” (JSW) edited by Timo Virtanen [S,orch] Duration: 10'
solo: S – 2.2.2.B-clar.2. – 188.8.131.52. – 2timp. – 2hp – str
The first performance of Luonnotar took place on September 10, 1913, in Shire Hall, Gloucester. It is one of the cornerstones of his entire production.
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Luonnotar was planned especially for the tessitura and for the type and for the color of the voice of Aino Ackté (1876-1944). The score thus tells a great deal about this singers abilities. The total range needed for the vocal part is two full octaves, and the pianissimo high c-flat is a well-known trial for sopranos.
Luonnotar is the last of the tone poems based directly on the Kalevala. Sibelius himself chose the text. It does not form any clear and unified whole nor does it outline a plot. Rather than telling a story, the text gives a series of impressions, a kind of Finnish version of the creation of the world.
The music text of the study score is based on Volume VIII/1 of the Complete Edition Jean Sibelius Works. This volume also contains a detailed introduction of the work, as well as a Critical Commentary in English.