The latest release in the JSW (Jean Sibelius Werke) complete critical edition of Sibelius’s music has been published, containing one of the highlights of the composer’s chamber music output: the Piano Quintet in G minor, JS 159.
This is Sibelius’s only finished work in this genre and was completed in Berlin in the spring of 1890. Like so many of his early works, the Quintet remained unpublished during his lifetime, first appearing in print from Edition Wilhelm Hansen in 1993. Moreover, Sibelius never heard his Quintet performed in concert. It was not until the centenary of his birth that the entire work was performed in public for the first time at the Turku Music Festival. In 1890 only partial performances took place, without the composer present; among newspaper reviews at the time, ‘Bis’ Wasenius in Hufvudstadsbladet (May 1890) wrote: ‘Mr Sibelius repeatedly gives proof of the increased value of his extraordinary compositional talents’, and Åbo Underrättelser (October 1890) noted that ‘Jean Sibelius […] precisely in this creation has achieved common and justified acclaim as a very eminent compositional talent’.
In addition to the five movements that constitute the Quintet in its final form, another Scherzo movement has survived and is published as an appendix in this volume. The editor is Anna Pulkkis.
SON 637 – Price € 217.00
More information and orders: https://www.breitkopf.com/work/6198/18276
Also released is a volume of six part songs for female choir, using the Urtext from the previously released volume SON 617 of the JSW Complete Edition edited by Sakari Ylivuori. The pieces were written at different times and for different occasions, and vary both in the language of their texts (Finnish and Swedish) and in length and number of voices. Nevertheless, they form a coherent and interesting set of moderate difficulty throughout, making Sibelius as a composer accessible to smaller female choirs and ensembles. The works included are:
Kotikaipaus, JS 111 (text: Walter von Konow’)
Kansakoululaisten marssi, JS 103 (text: Onnen Pekka)
Kantat, JS 107 (text: Walter von Konow)
Soi kiitokseksi Luojan, Op. 23 No. 6 (text: August Valdemar Forsman)
Nejden andas from Op. 30 (text: Zachris Topelius)
Terve, Ruhtinatar from JS 104 (text: Zachris Topelius)
ChB 5390 – Price € 8.90
More information and orders: https://www.breitkopf.com/work/20535/
Hannu Lintu [Photo by Veikko Kähkönen (source: http://www.hannulintu.fi/)]
In the autumn of 2025, conductor Hannu Lintu will become the artistic partner of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. The contract will be valid until further notice, and Lintu will conduct four concert weeks a year in Lahti. He will also serve as artistic director of the International Sibelius Festival.
Maija Kylkilahti, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s general manager, is delighted with the appointment. ‘There is an obvious rapport between Hannu, the orchestra and the audience, which can be seen and heard in the end result. We are delighted that he would like to work more closely with us.’
Hannu Lintu remarks: ‘I have been working with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra for more than two decades. Each concert has convinced me afresh that the orchestra is exceptionally talented and ambitious. At this stage, a closer relationship seems natural. I am particularly excited about the opportunity to work on the Sibelius Festival programme.’
Hannu Lintu will next appear with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in October. Among the other orchestras he will conduct this year are the Chicago and Boston Symphony Orchestras, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. This summer he will conduct a new production of Debussy’s Pélleas and Mélisande at the Bavarian State Opera.
The current principal conductor Dalia Stasevska’s term will end in the spring of 2025. Hannu Lintu will not be a direct replacement for her, and the orchestra will aim to find a new principal conductor in the near future.
A complete symphony cycle is the theme of the Lahti Sibelius Festival in its 25th anniversary year.
The Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s 25th Sibelius Festival will be held at the Sibelius Hall in Lahti from 29 to 31 August 2024, with Dalia Stasevska, chief conductor of the orchestra, as its artistic director. The festival will include a guest appearance by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
The Lahti Symphony Orchestra will open the festival with Symphonies Nos 1 and 2, while the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra’s guest concert will include Symphonies Nos 3 and 5 and Luonnotar, with Golda Schultz as soloist. The final concert on Saturday 31 August will feature Symphonies Nos 4, 6 and 7. There will also be a chamber music concert on Saturday afternoon.
The visual aspect of the festival is designed by Klaus Haapaniemi, one of Finland’s most internationally renowned designers.
The Songs of Jean Sibelius: Poetry, Music, Performance is a new book by Gustav Djupsjöbacka, published by Boydell & Brewer.
To quote from the publisher’s website: ‘This is the first book to discuss the complete solo art songs of Jean Sibelius and to locate them in their musical, literary and artistic context. The book is organized around the poets Sibelius set to music and the literary themes associated with them, thus providing invaluable information for the scholar, student and performer. The musical and aesthetic contextualisation of the songs will help to enable new interpretations on the performance stage.’
Gustav Djupsjöbacka is a pianist, teacher, lecturer, music critic, broadcaster and former rector of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He completed his doctorate in music at the Sibelius Academy in 2006 with a thesis on Toivo Kuula’s solo song production. In November 2006 he was awarded the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Lion of Finland, and he was awarded the title of Professor by the Sibelus Academy in 2012.
436 pages, hardback, ISBN: 9781783277810, Price: £85.00
Ebook, pdf: 9781805431060, Price: £24.99
To purchase via the publisher’s website: click here.
The January 2024 issue of Sibelius One’s magazine is now in the final stages of preparation.
Included in this issue:
- A Day in Turku Folke Gräsbeck
- The Fifth poem by Kornel Kossuth
- ‘Fresh, colourful and utterly Finnish’ – The 1894 version of Karelia Andrew Barnett
- Many on the sea of life – Sibelius’s Op. 23 songs Sheahan Virgin
Subscribers will be sent their copies of the magazine as soon as it arrives from the printers. For more information, or to add the magazine to your subscrciption, please click here.
Our New Year 2024 teaser is a wordsquare. Hidden within it are 30 words associated with Sibelius: important people in his life, names of works or places of significance to him. Words may run in any direction (also backwards). How many can you find?
Good luck and Happy New Year!
Solution: click here
Further quizzes and teasers about Sibelius: click here
Generated by www.thewordsearch.com
Our Sibelius discography has been updated. To download the latest version (free of charge) please click here: Sibelius_Discography_20231201. More information on this project and other new release listings: click here for our Discography and Recordings page.
Veijo Murtomäki, Professor emeritus of music history at the Sibelius Academy of the University of Arts Helsinki, reviews Jean Sibelius. Life, Music, Silence by Daniel M. Grimley (Reaktion Books, 2021)
‘Daniel M. Grimley is a musicologist whose expertise and deep understanding especially of Scandinavian and British music has been widely acknowledged thanks to his admirable books on Grieg, Nielsen, and Delius as well as his work as an editor of anthologies and as a writer of many peer-reviewed articles. Given his attachment to the music of Jean Sibelius, it is with a sense of expectation that one approaches his new book on Sibelius.’ Click here to read on…
Two further works by Sibelius have been published in Breitkopf & Härtel’s Urtext series, featuring the editions of the scores aleady issued in the JSW complete critical edition.
The new releases are a study score of the Fourth Symphony (PB 5695), edited by Tuija Wicklund (€18.90). A full-size score based on the JSW text is already available (PB 5694; €65.00).
The second release is a volume entitled ‘Impromptus’ (PB 5746) featuring the composer’s own three arrangements for string orchestra of his Impromptus, Op. 5 Nos 5 and 6, originally for piano: No. 5, an early version of Nos 5–6, and the revised version of Nos 5–6. It is edited by Pekka Helasvuo and Tuija Wicklund. Score (€25.90) and parts for the Impromptus are available separately.