Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) Höstkväll – Autumn Night Op. 38/1
[S,orch] duration: 5' Text: Viktor Rydberg
solo: S – 0.2.2.B-clar.2.dble bsn. – 188.8.131.52. – perc. – hp – str
The orchestral version of Höstkväll, with words translated into German by Ferdinand Tilgmann, was originally written for the soprano Aino Ackté (1876-1944). The date of the première is not known, although an early performance took place in Paris, when Minnie Tracey sang the piece under the direction of Alfred Cortot on January 14, 1905.
Nearly all of the orchestral arrangements were made years after the original compositions for voice and piano. Yet even though the arrangements were made in a very short period of time, Sibelius handled the combination of solo voice and orchestra in all songs with equal mastery, sometimes creating dark and dramatic atmospheres (in På verandan vid havet), sometimes radiant, colorful impressions (in Soluppgång), or light-colored, transparent textures (in Våren flyktar hastigt), and always basing his ideas on the poetic idea of the song while discovering refined ways of supporting it.
In most cases, Sibelius used a comparatively small orchestra: Våren flyktar hastigt has only two flute and four horns added to the strings.