My music reviews for music published in 1892.
1. Jean Sibelius: Kullervo, Op. 7 (9/10)
This weird hybrid of different orchestral styles through me for a loop the first time I listened to it, in part because the collection I have it on sequences it after the symphonies.
But this is an impressive, forward-thinking out-of-the-box fusion of forms, that was also pretty nationalistic (a pretty common thing by then, I believe). The music stays with you. It may be unsubtle, but most Romantic music is.
2. Erik Satie: Prelude #3 for Le Nazaréen (8/10)
Another one of these pieces that, I believe, were composed specifically not to fit in with whatever was on the stage. There are a lot of similarities between these and the earlier, more famous ones, in composition it not in melody (to my ears anyway).
3. Erik Satie: Fête donnée par des chevaliers normands en l’honneur d’une jeune demoiselle (XIe siècle) (8/10)
An uncharacteristically strident piece for Satie, this is something I quite like but I feel like it’s probably hard to justify it as any kind of classic given how simple the theme is (played at different volumes). (Basically, it’s an experiment.)
4. Edward Elgar: “Serenade for Strings”, Op. 20 (6/10)
The ‘Serenade’ is again something that feels perhaps exceptional because it comes from England, but is paled by most contemporary efforts of great continental composers. I remain very underwhelmed by Mr. Elgar.
5. Frederick Delius: “Prelude” from Irmelin (6/10)
This prelude for one of Delius’ early operas doesn’t do much to make me want to listen to the rest of the opera. It sounds at turns idyllic and mournful but I don’t really hear drama. Maybe the opera is good, but listening to this prelude, all I hear is “high Romantic.”