Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)   :  
Andante Festivo
for String Quartet, 1922

- Recorder Quartet or Quintet: (S)ATBGb + optional Cb
- Score + 7 Parts (Gb in both bass and treble clefs, + alternate soprano part doubling alto)
- Level: Intermediate

Transcription for of Jean Sibelius’ String Quartet from 1922, with optional Contrabass part from 1939 version for string orchestra.
Arranged by Charles Coldwell. 

Andante Festivo was originally written in 1922 for String Quartet as a commission to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Säynätsalo plywood mill.  In 1938 Jean Sibelius was persuaded by his close friend, an influential New York Times music critic, Olin Downes, to "conduct a piece of music as Finland's greeting to the world in a radio broadcast to celebrate the New York World Exhibition."  Sibelius reworked Andante Festivo into a composition for string orchestra and timpani, which had its premiere performance as a live worldwide broad-cast on January 1, 1939 by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

This arrangement is based closely on the original string quartet version, and intended to be played as a recorder quartet for Alto, Tenor, Bass and Great Bass recorders, one player per part.  An optional Contrabass Recorder part is included that essentially replicates the contrabass part from Sibelius’ later arrangement of the piece for string orchestra.  The original key is retained, with almost all notes being played at their original pitch (octave), with exceptions mostly occurring in the optional Contrabass part.

Performing Andante Festivo without the Contrabass Recorder part would duplicate the original string quartet version.  The Alto part can be played on Soprano Recorder if preferred (separate part provided). The string parts were generally set in the higher range of the instruments. Thus, it is preferred to retain the feeling of high tessitura in all the parts by playing it on Alto. This arrangement is best suited for players who are comfortable playing in the high registers of the Alto and Bass Recorders, and playing chromatically on the lowest notes of the Great Bass Recorder.

We have also published an arrangement for large recorder ensemble or recorder orchestra that retains the full voicing and chords of the original String Orchestra version (ED-L01601 for SATBGbCb with divisi in A and B parts).

Sheet Music
Difficulty Level Intermediate
No. Parts 4 parts: (S)ATBGb 5 parts: (S)ATBGb + optional Cb

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SIBELIUS - Andante Festivo (1922) for Quartet/Quintet (S)ATBGb+Cb

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