Truls Mørk © Johs. Bøe

Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 1Listen

Forces of Nature

This concert was played:

  1. Sinfonia Concertante
  2. Symphony No. 1
  1. Santtu-Matias Rouvali conductor
  2. Truls Mørk cello

​A dark and desolate scene is set when the clarinet sings its melancholy melody in the opening bars of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 1.

With force and wild abandon, while bearing the legacy of Tchaikovsky and the entire symphonic tradition on his shoulders, the Finnish master forged his way onto the world stage in the year 1900 with this singular masterpiece. Sibelius’ countryman, the young Santtu-Matias Rouvali, is well-known for his untamed energy on the podium, and together with acclaimed cellist Truls Mørk, he will have the opportunity to unleash his energy, also in Prokofiev’s complex, rhythmically daring and brutally demanding Sinfonia Concertante.

“I know that man has much of that which I recognise in myself”, said Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) early on in his career about one of his symphonic ideals, Tchaikovsky. In Symphony No. 1 (1900) the heritage of the composer is apparent, but there are also many “Sibelian” characteristics, and the work contains a distinct melodic melancholy, a raw and almost hard-edged quality, but also a sophisticated symphonic unity which was to distinguish also many of Sibelius’ later works. Following the mystical opening, the work’s full symphonic power is unleashed in an intense and dramatic first movement before it all calms down in the muted and delicate opening of the second movement. In the third movement, the pulse quickens as the timpani strike open the beginning of the scherzo before the finale picks up the thread from the clarinet’s opening melody, now played by the strings with full romantic pathos and intensity.

Sergei Prokofiev’s (1891-1953) Sinfonia Concertante (1951, revised 1952) is also intense and untamed, and has long been considered close to impossible to play. The first to surmount its difficulties was the legendary Mstislav Rostropovich, who performed the world premiere of the piece in 1952. An artist who in our time fully masters the technical hurdles, rhythmical challenges and eccentric phrasings found in one of Prokofiev’s final, most intense and idiosyncratic works is the evening’s soloist, our very own internationally renowned virtuoso, Truls Mørk. 

(Text: Thomas Erma Møller: Translation (from Norwegian): Sarah Osa; In photo: Truls Mørk; Photo: Johs. Bøe)


  • Adult: 100 - 470 NOK
  • Senior: 100 - 375 NOK
  • Student: 100 - 235 NOK
  • Child: 100 NOK

The concert is not included in any subscriptions.