The music track of ‘Ascending Swans’, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s third video in its innovative digital project ‘Musical Chain’, is out now as a single by Estonian label nEscapes. The ‘Musical Chain’ series of music videos features striking orchestral transformations of iconic classical pieces, and the music for ‘Ascending Swans’ is based on the ‘Song of Praise’ from Sibelius’s Swanwhite Suite, one of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s favourite encore pieces. Kristjan Järvi composed and produced the track, which was recorded by the orchestra in Merano, Italy, in September 2020, during its ‘Nordic Pulse’ tour. ‘Ascending Swans’ is the first single from the ‘Musical Chain’ series to be released on nEscapes. More tracks from the series will be released on the label later this year and in 2022.
Grace and strength in sound and on screen
The ‘Ascending Swans’ video was released on the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s social media channels in November 2020. It has since had almost 32,000 views on YouTube and 37,000 views on Facebook, making it the most popular video of the ‘Musical Chain’ series so far. The video combines outdoor footage of 13 musicians from the orchestra with stunning images that celebrate the nature and landscape of the North as autumn turns to winter. ‘Ascending Swans’ reflects the grace, purity and strength of the eponymous birds, many thousands of which fly south from the Arctic in October and November. The swan is a cherished bird of Nordic culture, and is an inspiration to the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi, whose ‘Nordic Swans’ tour of Italy, Slovenia, Germany and Poland to internationally renowned festivals earlier this month (3–12 September) featured Arvo Pärt’s Swansong, Sibelius’s The Swan of Tuonela and Järvi’s own adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake as dramatic symphony.
Musical gems recut for the 21st century
The ‘Musical Chain’ series of music videos launched in July 2020 with ‘Midnight Mood’, based on Grieg’s ‘Morning Mood’ from Peer Gynt. The second video, ‘Beethoven’s Twilight’, which was released in September 2020, is a cutting-edge, electronics-infused take on Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Following the release of ‘Ascending Swans’, the series continued in December 2020 with ‘Nutty Christmas’, a fun seasonal take on Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker in which the ‘Dance of the Reed Pipes’ and the ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ are transformed into the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s very own Christmas cracker.
‘Musical Chain’ reflects the orchestra’s boundary-breaking spirit, its passion for innovative collaborations, and its dedication to communicating through digital media the energy, style and freedom of its live performances. It is also a symbol of unity and solidarity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic: inspired by the human chain formed by people across the three Baltic States in August 1989, it brings together musicians from across Europe with other artistic collaborators and professional video producers. The latest video in the series, ‘Midnight Sun’, released in August 2021, takes ‘Musical Chain’ in a new creative direction, with original music written and produced by Kristjan Järvi and visuals that combine monochrome images of nature and landscapes with eyecatching geometric animations. The music track of ‘Midnight Sun’ was also released as a single, in both a radio edit and a long version, on BMG/Modern Recordings.