Jean Sibelius


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Sibelius, Jean

 

Born Dec. 8, 1865, in Hämeenlinna (Tavas-tehus); died Sept. 20, 1957, in Järvenpää, near Helsinki. Finnish composer.

A pupil of M. Wegelius in Helsinki, Sibelius completed his studies with A. Becker in Berlin and R. Fuchs and C. Goldmark in Vienna. His most important creations were his major orchestral works (seven symphonies and 14 symphonic poems, 1892–1929). Sibelius embodied the distinctive northern color of Finnish folk music in his works, using its characteristic harmonic and rhythmic turns. The poetic images of the national epic, the Kalevala, inspired the Kullervo Symphony and the symphonic poems, including the Lemminkäinen Suite (four poems, of which The Swan of Tuonela won Sibelius renown), Pohjola’s Daughter, and Tapiola. Many of Sibelius’ works are imbued with patriotism (the first and second symphonies, the symphonic poem Finlandia, and the choral works, including the heroic cantata Our Native Land). Impressionistic overtones are characteristic of his program music, which is pervaded by images of nature (the symphonic poems A Saga, Spring Song, Night Ride and Sunrise, The Dryads, The Oceanides, and Tapiola, as well as the Symphony No. 4).

The form of some of the works from Sibelius’ early and middle creative periods (the second, fourth, and fifth symphonies) deviates from the classical scheme. The music is noted for diverse moods, an orchestral palette rich in original sound images, a rhythm characterized by breaks, and a poignant, sharp harmonic language. In his later works Sibelius turned to classical clarity of form and simplicity of expressive means.

Among Sibelius’ most popular works are the concerto for violin and orchestra, which is distinguished by deep emotions and by originality in the musical embodiment of images; the lyric art songs “Black Roses,” “Driftwood,” and especially “The Tryst”; and music for dramatic performances, rearranged for concert performance, including “Valse Triste” and the orchestral suite from the music to Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The Sibelius Week festival has been held in Finland in June since 1950.

REFERENCES

Aleksandrova, V., and Bronfin, E. Ian Sibelius. Moscow, 1963.
Stupel’, A. Ian Sibelius. Leningrad, 1963.
Vachnadze, M. Ian Sibelius. Moscow, 1963.
Entelis, L. “Sibelius.” In Siluety kompozitorov XX v. Leningrad, 1971.
Gray, C. Sibelius, 2nd ed. London, 1938.
Ringbom, N. E. Jean Sibelius. Oklahoma [1954].
Vignal, M. Jean Sibelius. [Paris] 1965.
Tawaststjerna, E. Sibelius. Stockholm, 1968.

M. A. VACHNADZE

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Sunday, March 18, the "Horn and Pipes" concert will feature Mary Jo Neher, horn and Joseph Burgio, organ, performing music by Camille Saint-Saens, Cesar Franck, Arcangelo Corelli, Bernhard Krol, Faust and Jean Sibelius.
It is hoped that the availability of this ambitious and comprehensive critical edition of the songs of Jean Sibelius will encourage further and more in-depth exploration and performances of these beautiful and unique songs.
The violinist came to international attention when he won the Second Prize at the Jean Sibelius International Violin Competition in 2015.
Siempre me ha sorprendido la erratica impresion que una mente tan lucida como la del gran pensador y musicologo aleman Theodor Adorno tenia de un compositor de la pasta del finlandes Jean Sibelius (Hameenlinna 1865-Jarvenpaa 1957), muy contraria y contrastante con la declarada admiracion que profesaron otros musicos contemporaneos suyos de la talla del austriaco Gustav Mahler y el algo mas joven hungaro Bela Bartok, quienes no solo valoraban su obra sino que ademas lo consideraban como uno de los autores mas trascendentales en la transicion del siglo XIX al XX.
The Correspondence of Jean Sibelius and Rosa Newmarch, 1906-1939.