Sunday, January 23, 2011

A lonely ski trail

Where, one wonders, does it go?
More snow this week and as it mounts into great piles it remains serene and quietly seductive on fields and meadows and in woods. I was thinking yesterday as I was pushing along on my old skis--gliding actually,the snow being fresh and dry--about an obscure piece by Sibelius, A Lonely Ski Trail (En ensam skidspor) written in his "late" period. Based on a poem by Bertil Grippenberg, it's a charming little "melodrama" with the poem being recited. Charming isn't quite right as it's full of that Nordic tristese and resignation tinged with a kind of loveliness. It's rather dark actually.
But I wondered, as I glided through this crystalline, wintry landscape, did Sibelius go out on skis? I suppose he must have, it being comme il faut in rural Finland. But I bet he dressed to the nines--coat and tie and knickers.

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