Janacek Sinfonietta, Sibelius Symphony no 5 Concert Review

I was not able to attend a live performance, so I went onto the London Symphony Orchestra webpage and watched an on-demand broadcast Live from the Barbican Hall on Wednesday 19 September 2018. The performance featured: JANACEK Sinfonietta, SIBELIUS Symphony No 5, Sir Simon Rattle conductor, London Symphony Orchestra.

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The performance began with movement number 1: Movement Fanfares Allegretto. Allegretto is a diminutive, meaning slightly slower than allegro. Fanfare is a flourish of trumpets. It started off slow and smooth and then the tempo continued to rise. It elaborated one single theme because the nine C trumpets, the bass trumpets, and tenor tubas are heard only in the first and last movements. The acoustics and fanfares gave off an almost overwhelming sound. The trumpets that were standing in the back of the hall had amazing harmonics. It almost gave a happy to be alive impression.

The castle, Brno: Andante has two themes supported by the wind instruments and strings, melody and dance motive. During this performance the clarinets played almost at walking pace. It made me dance a little bit in my seat. The melody was sweet and rhythmic. While listening the Andante there were a couple times where I could picture birds and a forest. When the trumpets started playing towards the end of that movement, the sound was much deeper, it reminded me of sounds you would hear at military funerals. The violins were slow and steady, but the pace quickly arose to a faster tempo.

The 3rd movement was The Queen’s Monastery, Brno: Moderato. Janacek wrote this in 1926 and was intended to express his spiritual beauty and joy. During this performance it seemed like a modern approach and it sounded like an earthy, raw quality. The violins started the song slow and sweet. As each note passed, the violins became a deeper sound. The clarinets were giving a tender sound until the trombones chimed in with a higher pitch. During this performance there were unusual sounds. The wind instruments, strings and brass were all unison and played together as a team.

After the intermission, conductor, Simon Rattle began the rest of the performance with Sibelius Symphony No 5 in E flat Mvt 1 called Tempo molto moderato- Allegro moderato (ma poco a poco stretto)- Presto- Jean Sibelius was a finnish composer and violinist of the early modern and romantic periods. During this performance, it sounded like it was telling a story of someone in danger and then the person finally stood up and confronted the danger. The tempo slowed down and only the violinists and the bassoons played but then became allegro.

The 3rd movement: Allegro molto Misterioso Un pochettino largamente Largamente assai Un pochettino stretto (in E-flat major). This was my favorite movement of the entire show, during this time, the flutes and strings played famous melodies. The motif was developed and during the final segment the motif returned to the home key. Sibelius can be related to nature and bird calls. It showed human willpower spiraling in the closing piece. You’re able to hear the swans during the finale of the 5th Symphony, the swan theme is beautiful. The end is the same as the beginning, it was a rotational form. The dynamics were incredible, and it made is seem like an external illusion.

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Janacek Sinfonietta, Sibelius Symphony No 5 Concert Review. (2019, Jun 24). Retrieved October 6, 2022 , from

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