Järnefelt conducts Symphs. 2 & 6

Järnefelt conducts Symphs. 2 & 6

Armas Järnefelt conducts | £10
Symphonies Nos 2 & 6

Armas Järnefelt was a composer and conductor who introduced Richard Wagner’s operas into Finland and who is known for his works for small orchestra.

He studied under Busoni in Helsinki and Massenet in Paris. His early career was in Finland, giving the first performances of Wagner’s operas in Finland. He was appointed conductor of the Royal Opera in Stockholm in 1907 and in 1910 became a naturalised Swedish citizen. In 1932 he returned to Finland as director of the Helsinki Opera. He wrote songs and choral, orchestral and piano music but became best known for his Berceuse (1904) and Praeludium (1900) for small orchestra.

Today he is best known for being Sibelius’s brother-in-law; his sister, Aino married Sibelius. He conducted Sibelius throughout his career but left few recordings, the best known is of the Violin Concerto with Anja Ignatius, recorded in Berlin in 1943. The two recordings on our new society CD are of symphonies 2 and 6.

The Second symphony comes from a concert broadcast made on Sibelius’s 80th birthday, the 8th December 1945. It was to be Järnefelt’s last concert, which makes the performance so moving and poignant. Also, it is one of the finest and most interesting interpretations ever to be heard.

The Sixth Symphony comes from a Finnish radio broadcast made in the Helsinki University Hall on the 18th April 1941. It is a performance that illuminates the poetry behind the notes of this enigmatic score.

Details of the orchestras and original sources are included in the CD notes.