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Sibelius a life in pictures
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Tapkaara
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you ask me, Sibelius is the best dressed of the lot!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tapkaara wrote:
If you ask me, Sibelius is the best dressed of the lot!


Its just like his music, Sib stands out from the crowd Smile --kp

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But don't mess with the conductors ... Kajanus has the nice high collar and the fancy pocket watch chain ... not bad.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kurkikohtaus wrote:
But don't mess with the conductors ... Kajanus has the nice high collar and the fancy pocket watch chain ... not bad.


Kajanus would take my vote for second best dressed. Sibelius and that bowler hat, though, take the cake.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Change of dress for this picture.




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Caricature of Sibelius.

Sibelius completed 'Hymn to the Earth' in January, 1920 set to words by Eino Leino.


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Eino Leino [1878-1926]

In August Sibelius was invited to become the Director for one year at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York State at a salary of 20,000 dollars.

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The Eastman School of Music.

Sibelius was now making a name for himself in both Britain and the United States.


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The English born conductor Leopold Stokowski gave the American premiere of the fifth symphony in Philadelphia [October, 1921]

With the Eastman invite under wraps Sibelius traveled to Britain again for a month long series of concerts. He was to be reunited with his friend Busoni for the last time. Sibelius met a number of composers including Arnold Bax and his long time friend Harriet Cohen, the 25 year old pianist.


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Harriet Cohen and Arnold Bax.

Sibelius was attracted to both Cohens musicianship and beauty. She had played En saga for him from memory and included several of the masters piano pieces in her recitals. Bax too was a great admirer, dedicating his fifth symphony to Sibelius.

Sibelius finally decided not to accept the Eastman post, tempting has the offer had been and the position went to Christian Sinding.



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Christian Sinding [1856-1941]--kp

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On 10th August, 1922 Aino Sibelius celebrated her 50th birthday


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Aino Sibelius in 1922

Sibelius was now entering something of a shallow period with lightweight pieces such as 'Suite Mignonne' and 'Valse Chevaleresque'. Attractive enough pieces in their own way. However at the end of summer the great conductor Hermann Scherchen directed the fourth symphony in Leipzig with great success.


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Hermann Scherchen

Many of the lighter compositions were being turned down by certain publishing companies, however his music for 'Scaramouche' written in 1913 but only published in 1918 was given a highly successful premiere in Copenhagan on May 12th, 1922.




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Scaramouche

Scaramouche is a roguish clown character of the Italian commedia dell'arte. The performance was conducted by Georg Hoeberg



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Georg Hoeberg [1872-1950]

Hoebergs 1933 performance of Carl Nielsens fifth symphony is thought to be the earliest surviving recorded account of any Nielsen symphony.

Tragedy struck on 2nd July, 1922 when Sibelius's brother Christian died from pernicous anaemia. A few days earlier JS had visited him and played the Elergy from King Christian 11 on the piano.



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Christian Sibelius

Towards the end of the year Sibelius [who was by this time sporting a shaven head] resumed work on a sixth symphony.



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Sibelius in 1923.--kp

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just have to say, leave it to Scherchen to give a successful performance of one of the most existential symphonies ever written. Interesting also that the Berlin Philharmonic seems to have had a bunch success with the 4th over its early years (given its otherwise rather cold reception), with Scherchen and then of course with von Karajan.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats very true. Furtwangler did conduct a number of Sibelius works including the Violin Concerto and En saga. During the Abbado years JS all but disapeared from their programmes. Its good then that the Berlin Phils chief conductor is Sir Simon Rattle, a devoted Sibelian. I'm hoping for a Sibelius cycle from him soon.-kp

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further to my last post I've just found this interesting tribute to Sibelius by Hermann Scherchen himself.

'My connection with Sibelius dates back to the year 1921. At that time I was conducting for the Leipzig Concert Society. After a concert with a particularly interesting programme, I was told that Furtwangler who at the time was still conducting the museum Concerts in Frankfurt, had been present at the concert. I myself had given that night the first performance of Sibelius's Fourth Symphony in Leipzig. Soon after this concert I received an invitation from the Museum Society to take over the conducting of the Frankfurt Museum Concerts as successor of Furtwangler, who had left for Berlin. Furtwangler had recommended me because he had been so impressed by our performance of the Sibelius symphony. At this time the symphony was almost unknown in Germany, although it had been published by Breitkopf and Hartel. This was an important experience for me, both as regards the technique of musical composition and the human background. I sensed a world of vast forests and lakes, deeply influenced by weather, inhabited by a rare species of man and the figure of a great creative personality. I am proud that I owe directly to this personality--that of Sibelius--the start of my international artistic career through the summons to Frankfurt'.--kp

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is curious that despite Sibelius's grief over Christians death, stormy negotiations over his mounting Bank debts and indeed marital problems, the Sixth Symphony proved to be the serenest and indeed happiest of the imortal seven.


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Sibelius premiered No. 6 on 19th February, 1923 with the Helsinki City Orchestra and dedicated it to Stenhammar.



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Excerpt from the third movement of Sibelius 6


If the Fourth Symphony suggests Wintry scenes, No.6 conjures up a summer landscape.



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Sibelius's Sixth Symphony looks both backwards to Palestrina and the Italian Renaissance masters


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Palestrina [1525-1594]

But the Symphony also looks forward to Minimalist composers such as Philip Glass.


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Philip Glass b. 1937

Sibelius also included some of his lightweight pieces at the premiere of No.6 including Valse Chevaleresque and Suite Champetre. An eyewitness reported at the time 'Sibelius coquettishly swaying his hips' and many critics thought that these pieces showed influences from jazz and shimmy!.


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Jean and Aino in Capri

Following the premiere the Sibelius's went on a tour including Stockholm and Rome. Sibelius then went with his wife to Capri for a week.--kp

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Sibelius was now engrossed in what was to be his final published symphony.



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Sibelius relaxes.

After their holiday in Capri Sibelius continued his tour to Gothenburg in Sweden. In his second concert he rehearsed Rakastava, The Oceanides and the second symphony. Sibelius then disapeared into town and was discovered at 8pm in a Restaurant partaking of oysters and champagne. He got to the concert in time but stopped the orchestra after a few beats thinking that it was another rehearsal--to Aino's great alarm.


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Sibelius continued on to Finland and is seen above with the concert master of the Vyborg orchestra Boris Sirpo. JS conducted his second symphony on 28th April, 1923.

In November Sibelius went to Brother-in-law Eero Jarnefelts sixtieth birthday party.




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Eero Jarnefelt [1863-1937]

Eero Jarnefelt was an artist of some considerable talent who had accompanied Sibelius to Koli in Northern Karelia earlier when JS gained inspiration for his fourth symphony.



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A fine example of Jarnefelts art 'Burning the brushwood'.--kp

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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Writing in 1918 Sibelius declared of the seventh symphony 'It will be in three movements, the last an Hellenic Rondo'. Later evidence from the 1920's points to a four-movement structure.




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Above is a sketch for the seventh symphony

Sibelius travelled alone to Stockholm to give the premiere of No. 7 then titled 'Fantasia sinfonica'. Aino being true to her word stayed at home.


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Extract symphony No. 7 Bars 60-64

The symphony features a noble idea for the trombone and appears three times at crucial points in the symphony.

Music critic Wilhelm Peterson-Berger remarked that the new Fantasia was 'a kind of concise, one movement symphony', pretty near the mark I would say--though he did go on to say that it was 'reminiscent of Berwald in form, but in atmosphere close to the composers earlier pieces inspired by the Kalevala'.

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A rather imposing bust of Peterson-Berger.

A number of sad deaths ocurred at this time. On 17th February the composer Oskar Merikanto died. He had written sympathetic reviews of Sibelius's music and JS laid a wreath at the funeral.


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Oskar Merikanto [1868-1924]

On 27th July Sibelius's great friend Ferruccio Busoni passed away following a kidney desease.


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Sibelius and Busoni outside The Queens Hall, London in 1921.

At the end of August Sibelius's daughter Katarina married Eero Ilves In Tuusula. As a Banker, Ilves helped JS a great deal to get his finances in order. --kp


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Katarina Ilves

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On May Day, 1925 Sibelius received a letter from publisher Wilhelm Hansen asking if he had ever written music for Shakespears 'The Tempest' since the Royal Theatre in Copenagen wanted to use his music in a lavish production planned for the end of the year.







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Royal Theatre, Copenagen


The producer of the play was to be Johannes Poulsen who had both produced Scaramouche and played the title role. Poulsen visited Sibelius in an Helsinki Hotel and they spent several weeks discussing the plays possibilities.


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Johannes Poulsen [1881-1938]

Sibelius finished the score during the summer. The first night was delayed until March 1926 and the music proved to be his very greatest for the Theatre. A young German conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler of the renowned Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra took the Prelude with him on tour to North America the following year.



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Wilhelm Furtwangler [1886-1954]

In January 1926 Sibelius received a telegram from conductor Walter Damrosch in Newyork asking for a Tone poem. In March Sibelius was travelling again and was reunited with his childhood friend Walter von Konow. After celebrating von Konows sixtieth birthday they travelled down to Capri. Sibelius spent time sketching his new Tone poem which he had given the title 'Tapiola'.



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Sibelius in Capri, 1926.

On 2nd December Robert Kajanus celebrated his sixtieth birthday and Sibelius made a speech in tribute.


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Kajanus at his birthday celebration.

The premiere of 'Tapiola' was arranged for 26th December under Damrosch, the German born American conductor.


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Walter Damrosch [1862-1950] ---kp

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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The opening page of 'Tapiola' opus 112


Shortly after the premiere, Damrosch sent a telegram to Ainola 'Tapiola enormoud success, enthusiastic congratulations, Damrosch'. But reaction at the time was mixed. Even Olin Downes of the Newyork Times was luke warm in his comments 'Sibelius's melodic invention in later years has never reached the level of the earlier tone poems and symphonies' and he spoke of Tapiola as a disappointment. Of course Downes went on to become one of the composers most ardent supporters and became known as 'Sibelius's Apostle'.



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Sibelius outside his sauna [1927] which had been recently renovated.

In 1927 Sibelius composed his 'Musique Religieuse' opus 113 [Masonic Ritual music] for use by the masonic lodge in Helsinki of which the master was a member. The Grand lodge of Newyork publeshed the English version in 1950.


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The Grand Lodge of Newyork.

In February, 1927 Sibelius and Aino set off for Paris. Sibelius no doubt hoping to hear the latest French music and also of course Debussy whose death in 1918 was a great loss. Sibelius's latest tone poem 'Tapiola' had certain Debussian influences.


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The Hotel Voltair.



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Claud Debussy.

In Paris the Sibelius's stayed at the Hotel Voltair. It was here that Richard Wagner had composed his 'The Flying Dutchman'.

In 1927 Sibelius was very much engaged in a titanic struggle with his 8th symphony which would occupy him for many years.



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Jean Sibelius in 1927.--kp

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On November 11th 1927 Sibelius's friend, the composer conductor and pianist Wilhelm Stenhammar died'


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The Swedish musician had been a great admirer of Sibelius's music. JS dedicated his sixth symphony to him.



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Sibelius's Diary [1927]

In America Sibelius's music was gradually becoming very popular thanks to the efforts of a number of conductors including Stokowski and Koussevitzky.


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Serge Koussevitzky and Boston Symphony Orchestra [1930]

In December 1929 the English writer and composer Cecil Gray visited Sibelius. He was soon to write a biography of the composer and he championed many of the orchestral works, though he was one of the earliest writers to decry many of the miniatures.

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'A Survey of Contemporary Music' by Cecil Gray [1895-1927]


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Sibelius's 'Rondo Romantique' opus 116 No.3

In March, 1931 Sibelius's old friend the painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela died and unusually for Sibelius he attended the funeral as a Pall-Bearer.


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Aksela Gallen-Kallela [1865-1931]

Sibelius produced a short Organ piece for the funeral 'Surusoitto' opus 111b which might possibly have derived from the slow movement of the 8th symphony.--kp

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Relatives gather at Villa Ainola to celebrate Aino's sixtieth birthday 10th August, 1931.



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Sibelius in the 1930's

JS produced an attractive piano duet 'Rakkalle Ainolle' JS 161 [For my dear Aino]


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Marian Anderson [1897-1993]

The great [CENSORED] Soprano Marian Anderson was a great admirer of Sibelius. She toured Scandinavia in the summer of 1930 and met Finnish pianist Kosti Vehanen who became her accompanist. Sibelius heard her in concert in Helsinki and invited Miss Anderson to Ainola. Sibelius remarked that she was able to penetrate the Nordic soul.


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A note made by Marian Anderson after singing for Sibelius at Ainola. Sibelius had remarked 'My ceiling is much to low for your voice'.


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Georg Schneevoigt [1872-1947]

In May 1932 Robert Kajanus left is post with the Helsinki P.O after conducting the orchestras 50 year Jubilee. 60 year old Georg Scheevoigt was chosen to succeed him. Kajanus was to make a number of historic recordings of Sibelius's music in London. Schneevoigt also was to make the first recording of the masters Sixth Symphony.


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Sibelius arriving at the Exhibition Hall with Aino in 1935 for his 70th birthday celebrations.--kp

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Jean and Aino at the composers 70th Birthday celebrations with Field Marshal Mannerheim [1935]




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Armas Jarnefelt [1869-1958]

The celebration concert was conducted by Sibelius's brother-in-law Armas Jarnefelt and included the first symphony.

Later the Sibelius's attended a Banquet at which a performance of the second symphony was relayed from Newyork conducted by Otto Klemperer.


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Otto Klemperer [1885-1973]



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Also in 1935 Sibelius was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society.

At this time storm clouds were gathering across Europe and no doubt when Adolf Hitler awarded Sibelius the Goethe Medal it was politically motivated.


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Adolf Hitler.

The Kalevala Society celebrated its Centenary on 1st March, 1935 with a concert in Helsinki under Schneevoigt and included Lemminkainen and the Maidens of the Island [Saari] and Lemminkainen in Tuonela, heard for the first time since the 1890's.


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Part of the score 'Lemminkainen and the Maidens of the Island'.--kp

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 1935 Sibelius bought some music paper from Westerlunds music shop and it seems that the fabled 8th symphony may have been complete.


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On Newyears day, 1939 Sibelius was coaxed out of 'Retirement' to conduct his Andante festivo for a live relay to the Newyork world fair.


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The composer's son-in-law Arvi Paloheimo is seen here escorting Sibelius to conduct his Andante festivo in Helsinki.



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Here they both are seen after the performance.

One of JS's great friends and champions was Sir Thomas Beecham, the English conductor who had mounted a Sibelius festival of six concerts in 1938.


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Sibelius and Beecham at Ainola.

World war two which broke out in 1939 was a time of deep anguish for Sibelius and he was used as a political football at the time. However on 30th September, 1943 Sibelius heard a radio broadcast of Malcolm Sargent conducting Vaughan Williams new fifth symphony.


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Vaughan Williams [1872-1958]

VW had dedicated the symphony 'without permission and in sincerest flattery to Jean Sibelius whose great example is worthy of imitation'.


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Sibelius remarked about the symphony 'Civilized and humane! am deeply grateful. Williams gives me more than anyone can imagine. A tragic fate has befallen my country. We have to live with barbarism [the Nazis] otherwise we shall go under[the Communists] -kp

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always loved that photo with Arvi Paloheimo in the car because Sibelius looks freezing!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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The French virtuoso Ginette Neveu recorded Sibelius's Violin Concerto at Abbey Rd Studio [London] on 21st November, 1946 with The Philharmonia Orchestra under Walter Susskind'




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Ginette Neveu

She played the work with John Barbirolli and The Halle in Manchester in 1949. Setting off later for a concert tour of America her plane crashed off the Azores in mid-Atlantic. A tragic end.

Walter Legge was a highly influential record producer in England who had founded The Philharmonia Orchestra.



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Walter Legge [1906-1979]

Legges second wife was the celebrated Soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf who included several Sibelius songs in her recitals'


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Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.

Legge visited Sibelius several times at Ainola and played a large part in recordings of his music by conductors such as Beecham and Karajan.


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Karajans stereo recording cover of Sibelius fifth.

Sibelius had remarked to Legge that Karajan is the only one who really understands my music.

On December 15th, 1948 Sibelius received a telegram from his great friend and champion in the United States Olin Downes. He had a request from composer Edgar Varese for help in locating the orchestral score of his song 'Arioso' opus 3 that a Mrs Goerll wished to perform.


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Edgar Verese [1883-1965]

Varese was known as 'The father of Electronic music' and very much in the forefront of the modern movement. He was also a great admirer of Sibelius's music and spoke of the sense of space in his works. --kp

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