Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing

Haiku Wednesday: Jean Sibelius



Jean Sibelius
Wrote the soundtrack of Finland
Hear and see it here

Sibelius fans, I have found many links for you!

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) the National Museum of Finland is presenting an exhibit, “Sibelius: One Must Live Every Note.”  A facet of the exhibit is a website that presents images of original manuscripts, audio excerpts from a number of his compositions that show the evolution of the works, and a brief article on the history of the presented pieces.

Sibelius surrounded himself with visual art.  He had close associations with a number of Finnish artists, and his home was filled with their artwork.  The Finnish National Gallery presents a webpage on various themes in the life of Sibelius.  The site contains artwork and suggestions of compositions by Sibelius to listen to that are associated with these themes.  The home of Sibelius, Ainola, is now a museum.  The Ainola website features photos of Sibelius, his home, and the artwork found there.

The Philharmonia Orchestra has produced a documentary featuring Vladimir Ashkenazy in Finland exploring the world of Sibelius.  The video presents the places and artwork that served as an inspiration of Sibelius, as well as a visit to his home.

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra has a page devoted to video performances of works of Sibelius, including Symphonies 1 and 5 (the website also has performances of works by other composers, so click around!).  There is also a page on the life of Sibelius.

Collins Classics has made available the full album of its recording of Four Legends and Finlandia by Jean Sibelius (the Collins Classics YouTube channel features a large number of full albums by a variety of composers, so don’t miss it!)

Here is the Sibelius Violin Concerto presented by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra with soloist Ray Chen.

And we can’t leave out a performance of Finlandia.  Here it is performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko.

Hyvää päivänjatkoa [Have a nice day!]


Image attribution:  Jean Sibelius, 1939 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

2 thoughts on “Haiku Wednesday: Jean Sibelius

  1. Thanks- as long as we don’t have to learn Finnish. Really good info, and fine choices of pieces too. Have you read The Rest is Noise? Almost singlehandedly accounts for the new popularity of Sibelius, who was very much an outlier for many years. And too often pooh-poo’d as a reactionary composer.



  2. Both Finnish and 20th century music can be a challenge; I think we’ll hold off on Finnish for a while! I do have The Rest is Noise, but it is still in my reading queue.


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