The autograph manuscript of Sibelius’s piano piece Spagnuolo, JS 181, will be auctioned by Sotheby’s in New York. The sale takes place on 13 December 2018 at 10.00am EST, and the piece has an estimated value of $20,000—$30,000. It is a fair copy, in black ink, in piano score on eleven systems, each of two staves. The manuscript clearly bears Sibelius’s signature. No place or date are indicated but the work dates from 1913, between the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies. Spagnuolo is a sparkling work, a Spanish dance viewed through Northern eyes.
It forms part of a sale of items from a private collection of music manuscripts and letters. In addition to music, the collection includes letters representing some of the world’s most renowned figures in the fields of art, literature, science and government. This exceptional collection of highly important material was amassed in the first half of the twentieth century.
Manuscript of an early version of Sibelius’s Autrefois found in the Lahti Conservatory music library
The manuscript in the composer’s own hand of a previously unknown early version of Sibelius’s Autrefois, Op. 96b, has been found in the library of the Lahti Conservatory among the materials dating from the Conservatory’s Viipuri years. The Conservatory can trace its origins back to the Viipuri College of Music, founded in 1918, and is thus celebrating its centenary this year. It was relocated to Lahti in 1940 and has operated in its current location since 1954. Nowadays the Conservatory is both a music school with 1,000 pupils and a vocational school for about 50 students aiming to become professional musicians.
The music library of the Lahti Conservatory includes material dating back to the early twentieth century from the Viipuri Friends of Music orchestral library and the Viipuri College of Music. The manuscript was discovered by Janne Kivistö, a Sibelius Academy music theory student working at the Lahti Conservatory. The score itself had been found in 2014 but at that time it was not recognized as an original manuscript by Sibelius and thus remained unnoticed. The Sibelius researcher and editor-in-chief of the JSW Complete Works critical edition, Timo Virtanen, has examined the manuscript and has described it as an exceptionally interesting and important discovery.
Autrefois is a work for small orchestra and two women’s voices (or clarinets) dating from 1919, with the subtitle ‘Scène pastorale’. This ‘new’ early version contains striking differences from the final version, for example in the accompaniment. The piece was first performed by the sopranos Sabine Dahlström and Clary Alfthan with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer in Helsinki on 1 December 1919. Sibelius conducted it on numerous later occasions as well.
The discovery of the manuscript amongst the materials from Viipuri may indicate that the composer took the score to Viipuri when he visited the city in 1923 to conduct the orchestra of the Viipuri College of Music.
The Conservatory is currently considering arranging a performance of the early version of Autrefois in the spring of 2019, to celebrate its 100th academic year.
On Saturday 17 November 2018 at 7.00pm a semi-staged performance (without vocal parts) of The Tempest with Sibelius’s original theatre music, preceded by Finlandia, will take place in Welwyn Garden City, performed by the Mid Herts Youth Orchestra conducted by Tom Hammond.
The performance is directed by Peter Avery, with actors from the Mid Herts Centre for Music & Arts Community.
The Mid Herts Youth Orchestra is a full symphony orchestra and plays on a weekly basis with the aim of giving young musicians the opportunity to play in a high-standard orchestral setting.
This event is supported financially by Sibelius One.
Venue: Ridgeway Academy, Herns Lane, Welwyn Garden City AL7 2AF (a 10-minute walk from the station / ample parking)
The world première performance of a new arrangement by Lahti music student Luukas Hiltunen of Sibelius’s Intrada for organ, Op. 111a (1925), was given as an encore on the last night of the 2018 Sibelius Festival in Lahti (8 September 2018).
This sonorous and well-received arrangement was scored for full symphony orchestra (without percussion), and is dedicated to its performers, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and conductor Dima Slobodeniouk.
Luukas Hiltunen has also made an arrangement of the companion organ piece, Surusoitto (Funeral Music).
Further information will be published in the January 2019 issue of Sibelius One’s magazine.
At a meeting on Saturday 8 September 2018, the Ainola Foundation decided to invite Julia Donner to become the new curator at Jean Sibelius’s home, Ainola. She will start work on Monday 8 October 2018. Her predecessor, Hanne Selkokari, will become an amanuensis at the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki, starting on 15 October 2018.
Julia Donner is an art historian who has specialized in garden art and landscape architecture. Since 2012 she has taught and undertaken research at the Aalto University; she has written many books and articles. With specific reference to Ainola she has written ‘Oi terve tarhurineito…’: Aino Sibeliuksen puutarha (2006) and contributed to the book Ainola – The Home of Jean and Aino Sibelius (ed. Esko Häkli & Severi Blomstedt; Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura 2015)
Ainola’s summer season ends on Sunday 30 September 2018.
Sibelius One’s visit to the 2018 Lahti Sibelius Festival has just ended (posted on 10 September 2018). All events were well attended and enthusiastically received.
Wednesday 5 September:trip to Hämeenlinna; reception hosted by Erkki Korhonen and the Hämeenlinna Sibelius Society at the Town Hall; visit to the new Sibelius Forest national park.
Thursday 6 September:trip to Ainola; Sibelius One’s AGM in Hesan kamari at Ainola (minutes and accounts will be made available soon); concert by the Lahti SO/Dima Slobodeniouk with Baiba Skride, violin (Overture in A minor; Violin Concerto; Swanwhite); concert by the Wellamo Trio (‘Hafträsk’ Trio). Review of the concerts (Bachtrack): click here.
Friday 7 September:concert by the Estonian National SO/Neeme Järvi (Romance in C; Scene with Cranes & Valse triste; Symphonies 3 & 4); reception hosted by the Sibelius Society of Finland at the Sibelius Hall in Lahti.
Saturday 8 September: concert by Meta4 string quartet (Voces intimae); concert by the Lahti SO/Dima Slobodeniouk with Baiba Skride, violin (In memoriam; Six Humoresques; Symphonies 6+7); world première [encore] performance of a new orchestration by Lahti music student Luukas Hiltunen of the Intrada, Op. 111a; group meal at El Toro restaurant
Sunday 9 September: performance of the Five Piano Pieces (‘The Trees’), Op. 75 and of the Violin Concerto with additional choreography (Minna Pensola / Heini Kärkkäinen)
Provisional dates for the 2019 festival: 5–8 September. More details will be posted later.
The 150th anniversary of Oskar Merikanto’s birth is on 5 August 2018. To mark the anniversary, we have published a new article by Andrew Barnett about Sibelius and Merikanto. This article will be available to all visitors to this site for a limited time, after which it will move to the Members area.
A course about Sibelius and Nielsen will be organized by Arts in Residence in Birmingham on 9–11 April 2019 (Tuesday–Thursday).
It will be based at Jurys Inn, Broad Street, Birmingham, and given by Terry Barfoot. Also included is a concert by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Michael Seal, featuring Sibelius’s Third and Nielsen’s Fifth Symphonies along with Mahler songs.
Terry Barfoot writes widely on music for Britain’s leading journals, orchestras,
festivals and record companies. He lectures at venues throughout the country, is
publications consultant to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the director of
Arts in Residence.
Price: £295.00 per person (twin/double rooms), £320.00 (single rooms) to
include all meals, wine, course fees and accommodation.
Concert tickets are included.
Booking: Arts in Residence, 25, Mulberry Lane, Cosham, Portsmouth, PO6 2QU.
£50.00 per person deposit with booking. (Cheques payable to Arts in Residence.)
Enquiries: 02392 383356 Email: email@example.com www.artsinresidence.co.uk
Jean and Aino Sibelius’s honeymoon home, the granary at Monola near Lieksa in North Karelia, opened to the public for the first time on Friday 29 June 2018. It will remain open every day (except Mondays) throughout July. Previously it was open by appointment only.
At Monola, Sibelius composed two Runeberg songs (Kyssens hopp and Till Frigga) and worked on the tone poem En saga.
Since 2016 the building has been undergoing renovation in a way that is respectful of its history. The walls and one doorway are exactly as they were in Sibelius’s time. The roof and steps have been replaced, and decaying fabrics inside the barn have been removed, as has overgrown vegetation from outside.