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Quotes about Sibelius and his Music
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Kurkikohtaus
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:03 am    Post subject: Quotes about Sibelius and his Music Reply with quote

Please feel free and add your own, hopefully we'll have a rich and varied thread here...

Simon Rattle: Sibelius is so concentrated and exact (…) With Sibelius you feel that if one drop touched your skin it would burn right through the bone.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There you have it ... and I remember Rattle talking about something about one precious C-Major chord. With exact prints Confused
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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Otto Klemperer : 'Jean Sibelius is one of the most beautiful and heart warming phenomena among living composers. Without glancing either to left or right, without following trends or fashions, he has pursued his own path and composed music, always music....as early as the second symphony he reveals himself as fully fledged. What freshness and power!...Sibelius follows to the traditional forms of the classical symphony, but he always builds up his music with living, life-enhancing material. We conductors thank him from the bottom of our hearts for the great works he has given us.'
Otto Klemperer made this tribute to Sibelius on the occasion of the composers 70th birhday.--kullervopete

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ernest Ansermet , Swiss conductor 1883--1969

'I consider Jean Sibelius to be one of the great musical figures of our epoch. He is this by reason of the importance of his production, the richness of meaning and originality of his works, which are clearly the fruit of genius. Very dear to the hearts of his compatriots, his works are of no less value to the whole musical world, for which they are an expression of the Finnish character and country. Their expressive and aesthetic qualities gave them universal significance and assure their timelessness'.
See my comments on Ansermet in 'Whats that lurking in your Cd player'.--kullervopete. Click
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for the thread...

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wolfgang Sawalliwsch--German conductor

I have conducted Sibelius throughout my life. I love his works. There is the depressive [sic!] Fourth Symphony and Karajan. But I performed the First and Second Symphonies in America recently, and will be playing the Concerto and Seventh Symphony in Paris and Israel later in 1999. Sibelius is a wonderful composer but no one in London has asked me to conduct his works here, But I perform them all over the world, including Japan. I of course do the popular tone poems but also include En Saga and Pohjola's Daughter when I can. They are very rich works that always are well received by orchestras'

From an interview around 1999 with UK Sibelius Society President, Edward Clark.--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conductors sure love the sound of their own voice...
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kullervopete
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that it is always facinating to learn of conductors views about Sibelius. In the case of Sawallisch, until this interview I had no idea at all that the German maestro had in fact performed the great Finn around the world--it came as a pleasant surprise!--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zoltan Kodaly--Hungarian Composer 1882-1967

'When I was at school, I was deeply influenced by hearing a performance of Sibelius's unique work The Swan of Tuonela, and I enthusiastically followed all his further works. They were for us at the same time an example and an encouragement in our search for our own national music.
His life moreover was an example and a proof to us that services completely devoted to ones country, when they have a wider significance, do not go unrecognised on the international stage'.


Kodaly's most popular orchestral work is perhaps that great Suite 'Hary janos', but he wrote much chamber music, piano and vocal pieces and a fine choral work 'Psalmus Hungaricus', 1923.
As with a great deal of Sibelius, he was both national in spirit and modern
.--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cecil Gray [1895-1951]
'The voice of the far north became fully articulate for the first time in music with this work'
Gray, writer, critic and composer on 'En Saga'--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodor W Adorno. 1903-69] German Philosopher and Sociologist.

'If Sibelius is to be considered a good composer, then we shall have to disregard all of the criteria historically used to evaluate music from Bach to Schoenberg'. Twisted Evil

Nowadays Adorno's tirades against Sibelius are largely discredited. But he has played a major role in holding back Sibelius's reputation in Germany, but it seems that he never even took the trouble to study the scores.--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

‘His symphony, a work full of unrestrained power, full of passionate vividness and astonishing boldness, is – to put it bluntly – a work that deserves great attention, which steps out along new paths, or rather charges forward like an inebriated deity.’

Ferdinand Pfol writing about Sibelius’s First Symphony in the newspaper Hamburger Nachrichten (1900)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'The Symphonies of Sibelius are as different from one another as, collectively they are different from all other music. If there are snatches which seem to be derivative - as in the 1st, 3rd and most curiously, the 6th - they appear as twisted half quotations, taken up and being borne along in a torrent of highly original and powerful oratory'.
J. H. Elliot [July 1936] music and letters.--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan Hovhaness [American composer 1911-2000]

'I'm a tremendous admirer of Sibelius and I'm not like Stravinsky, who just says 'well Sibelius wrote Finlandia so he's no good'. 'Because Finlandia is a damm good piece, too! its a popular piece and it was written to defeat the Russians, and it worked'.

Hovhaness was often described in his younger days as 'The American Sibelius'. He had heard Sibs Fourth Symphony at a concert in Boston in the early 1930's and he remarked 'I thought that piece so lonely and original with its great unison melodies, said everything there was to say...and not only about music'.
In 1935 Hovhaness and his first wife, who was pregant at the time visited Finland to meet Sibelius, leading to a firm friendship. Sibelius became godfather to the unborn child, a daughter who was named Jean Christina in homage to the great Finn
.--kullervopete/

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'For us, the musician's, Sibelius has emerged as a huge figure, who says things which we have forgotten to listen to in ourselves, or that we are too frightened to listen to. Certainly no local landscape artist, but a great human spirit'.

Conductor Sir Colin Davies.--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Symphonies of Sibelius will not last--Bela Bartok [Hungarian composer]

Well they are still doing pretty good!--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Jean Sibelius, Finlands greatest son, glorified the country of his birth with his great music. The works of Sibelius will always be a source of pleasure for listeners all over the world'.

Dmitri Shostakovich, Russian composer--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wilhelm Furtwangler

'Sibelius is, along with Tchaikovsky, the only none-German who really works Symphonically. So why is this gift so rare'.

The great German conductor speaking in 1940.--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'It has been well said that the most original genius is the most indebted. Sibelius has followed the direction pointed out by the great masters of the past. He is the heir of all the ages. It is for this very reason that he gives us, with a new voice, a message that has never been heard before. And his voice will remain new, through all the changes and chances of freak and fashion. The English, like the Athenians, are too fond of spending time either in telling or hearing some new thing. But we have found by bitter experience that these 'new things', which at first we thought so rare and refreshing, are like the dead sea fruit, and turn to ashes in the mouth. Let us then shun all pernicious and enervating drugs, and turn to the pure water of Sibelius's art'.

Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1950.--kullervopete.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kullervopete wrote:
The Symphonies of Sibelius will not last--Bela Bartok [Hungarian composer]


What a stupid quote.

How interesting that Kodaly admired Sibelius, but Bartok apparently did not.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Furtwangler wrote:
Sibelius is, along with Tchaikovsky, the only non-German who really works Symphonically.

I really must disagree here and trumpet the cause of my beloved Dvořák as opposed to Tchaikovsky. Nothing against Tchaikovsky, I like 4-5-6 very much, but I find them to be collections of expressive melodies superimposed on a very plain and formulaic structure, with a competent use of "tools" rather than "music" during transitions.

It has just occured to me... maybe Furtwangler thought of Dvořák as a German composer, what with Czechoslovakia being occupied at the time, and therefore ommited Dvořák from this discussion.

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