Biography

Jean Sibelius and His World (The Bard Music Festival)

By Daniel M. Grimley

Perhaps no twentieth-century composer has provoked a extra different response one of the music-loving public than Jean Sibelius (1865-1957). initially hailed as a brand new Beethoven by way of a lot of the Anglo-Saxon international, he was once additionally largely disparaged by means of critics extra receptive to more moderen tendencies in tune. on the peak of his renowned allure, he used to be respected because the embodiment of Finnish nationalism and the apostle of a brand new musical naturalism. but he likely selected that second to forestall composing altogether, regardless of residing for 3 extra many years. offering extensive cultural contexts, contesting acquired principles approximately modernism, and interrogating notions of panorama and nature, Jean Sibelius and His World sheds new gentle at the serious place occupied by way of Sibelius within the Western musical tradition.

The essays within the booklet discover such assorted issues because the effect of Russian musical traditions on Sibelius, his compositional technique, Sibelius and the theater, his knowing of track as a fluid and improvised production, his severe reception in nice Britain and the US, his "late variety" within the incidental song for The Tempest, and the parallel modern careers of Sibelius and Richard Strauss.

files contain the draft of Sibelius's 1896 lecture on folks song, decisions from a roman à clef approximately his pupil circle in Berlin on the flip of the century, Theodor Adorno's short yet debatable tirade opposed to the composer, and the newspaper debates in regards to the Sibelius monument unveiled in Helsinki a decade after the composer's death.

The individuals are Byron Adams, Leon Botstein, Philip Ross Bullock, Glenda sunrise Goss, Daniel Grimley, Jeffrey Kallberg, Tomi Mäkelä, Sarah Menin, Max Paddison, and Timo Virtanen.

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Seventy nine (It will be a later new release of Finnish composers who might orient themselves extra explicitly towards Russia. )80 In 1895, supported by means of Ferruccio Busoni, Glazunov, and Rimsky-Korsakov, Sibelius approached Mitrofan Belyayev, whose influential publishing apartment dealt completely with Russian composers round the flip of the century; back, the enterprise got here to not anything. eighty one Sibelius’s first journey to Russia—excluding passing via St. Petersburg on his technique to Italy in 1900—took position as past due as December 1906, whilst he performed performances of Pohjola’s Daughter and “Lemminkäinen’s go back” in St. Petersburg. eighty two He again the next November, engaging in the 3rd Symphony in either St. Petersburg and Moscow, the place he additionally played Pohjola’s Daughter and a few smaller items. eighty three preliminary reactions have been promising. He had a company suggest within the conductor Alexander Siloti, or even earlier than his arrival, his identify was once pointed out in expert tune periodicals. eighty four Years later, in an interview with Svenska Dagbladet, Sibelius recalled his reception in Russia with affection: “My so much brilliant recollection is of a live performance in Moscow in the course of the outdated occasions. there's an knowing of and an enthusiasm for tune which has no counterpart in different places. For the Slavs, song lies of their blood. ”85 The studies of his first visual appeal in Russia have been enthusiastic, with one explicitly linking him to the Russian culture: of up to date artists, Sibelius, as a composer, stands closest of all, via advantage of his style, tendencies and path, to Rimsky-Korsakov. there's an analogous nationwide feeling in song, ordinary, spontaneous and loose, a similar tendency to color in sound, an identical feeling for the realm of fairy stories and old delusion, and specifically, an identical feel of myth and boldness by way of orchestral colour. . . . Having heard this piece [“Lemminkäinen’s Return”], one could merely remorse that the overdue V. V. Stasov used to be not able to listen to it played. How this tune might have enchanted him, together with his starvation for expertise and originality and his satisfied skill to savor issues, which he retained in his previous age. 86 but reactions to functionality of the 3rd Symphony in 1907 have been extra serious, and Sibelius’s popularity used to be little helped via Siloti’s careless ultimate of Nightride and dawn on the finish of 1908. 87 eventually, it should no longer be till after the second one global warfare that Sibelius’s song grew to become generally played and preferred in Russia, the place his nationalist credentials, dedication to standard varieties, and average kind of modernism can be effortlessly accommodated in the framework of Socialist Realism, particularly after the loss of life of Stalin in 1953, while the Soviet Union once more started to divulge heart's contents to restricted outdoors impacts. 88 If the tale of Sibelius’s stumble upon with Russia itself is essentially one among false impression and ignored possibilities, then debts of his openness to its tune were altogether extra effective. Tawaststjerna’s biography issues many times to Russian impacts on works of the early interval.

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