Our Sibelius discography has been updated. To download the latest version (free of charge) please click here: Sibelius_Discography_20230325. More information on this project and other new release listings: click here for our Discography and Recordings page.
The Tempest, arranged for chamber ensemble
Miranda – The Tempest (J.W. Waterhouse, 1916). Public domain
Luukas Hiltunen has been commissioned to arrange for chamber music ensemble selected movements from Sibelius’s The Tempest (1925–26) for the Ruovesi Summer Music Festival:
1. The Oak Tree, from Op. 109 No. 2
2. The Harvesters, from Op. 109 No. 2
3. Berceuse, from Op. 109,No. 2
4. Chorus of the Winds, Op. 109 No. 3
5. Dance of the Nymphs, from Op. 109 No. 3
6. Prospero, from Op. 109 No. 3
7. Miranda, from Op. 109 No. 3
8. The Naiads, from Op. 109 No. 3
These movements are ideally suited for performance by a smaller-scale instrumental forces. The suite will be published by Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen, which has already issued Hiltunen’s arrangement for string quartet of Sibelius’s Scène d’amour (WH33255). Wilhelm Hansen has also published Jouni Kaipainen’s reduced version of Sibelius’s incidental music to The Tempest (2008, WH32914).
The new arrangements will be premiered at a concert on Sunday 2 July 2023 at 4 pm at Sofia Magdalena Church, Ruovesi, Finland. The performers will be Anna Aminoff, flute; Eeva Mäenluoma, clarinet; Kasmir Uusitupa, Otto Antikainen and Tami Pohjola, violins; Aida Hadzajlic and Riina Piirilä, violas; Beata Antikainen and Sirja Nironen, cellos; Jarkko Uimonen, double bass and Jan Michiels, piano. The concert also features songs by Sibelius (Johanna Isokoski, soprano) and music by Debussy and Josef Krogulski.
Tickets are on sale from Friday 10 March 2023 via http://www.lippu.fi.
More details (in Finnish): http://www.musiikkiaruovesi.fi/
Contact information, Luukas Hiltunen:
UE (Universal Edition AG) Composer Profile: https://www.universaledition.com/luukas-hiltunen-7879
New and recent releases from Breitkopf & Härtel
There have been further releases in the JSW critical edition of Sibelius’s complete works from Breitkopf & Härtel.
In the main edition the most recent releases are:
String Quartets in E flat major, A minor, B flat major and D minor (Voces intimae)
Sibelius’s œuvre contains four complete string quartets. The first three – in E flat major (JS 184, 1885), A minor (JS 183, 1889), B flat major (Op. 4, 1890) – date from his youth and study years. They remained unprinted until long after his death, and the String Quartet in E flat major was also not performed in public. By contrast the D minor ‘Voces intimae’ Quartet was published in 1909 and has long been acknowledged as one of his masterpieces. This volume also includes an incomplete early version of the B flat major Quartet’s first movement.
Edited by Pekka Helasvuo and Tuija Wicklund
SON 634 (€326.00) / 328 pages / ISMN: 979-0-004-80369-1
The Dryad, Op. 45 No. 1; Music zu einer Scène (1904); Dance Intermezzo, Op. 45 No. 2 (including also early version); Pohjola’s Daughter, Op. 49; Pan and Echo, Op. 53
This volume contains five orchestral works from the period 1904–10, the largest and best-known of which is Pohjola’s Daughter. In addition, a fragment illustrating the unrealized plan of a symphonic poem called Luonnotar, which Sibelius reworked into Pohjola’s Daughter, appears as a facsimile. Musik zu einer Scène is now published for the first time.
Review in preparation
Edited by Timo Virtanen
SON 636 (€233.00) / 244 pages / ISMN: 979-0-004-80391-2
Also released separately, based on the scores already issued in the complete edition (edited by Anna Pulkkis and Folke Gräsbeck), are the two major piano trios from 1886–87, the ‘Hafträsk’ Trio and ‘Korpo’ Trio. These important scores are published for the first time in the JSW edition.
‘Hafträsk’ Trio in A minor, JS 207: EB 9448 (€39.90)
‘Korpo’ Trio in D major, JS 209: EB 9449 (€39.90)
A new paperback study score of the Lemminkäinen Suite has also been released, based on the Urtext (edited by Tuija Wicklund) previously issued in hardback (2013).
Lemminkäinen: PB 5576 (€39.90)
All of Sibelius’s symphonies except the Fifth have already appeared in the JSW edition. The Fifth is currently being prepared, edited by the project’s editor-in-chief Timo Virtanen.
Sixth Symphony – 100 years
Sibelius’s Sixth Symphony celebrates its centenary on 19 February 2023.
To celebrate the centenary, there will be a special concert in Turku, Finland, at which Leif Segerstam will conduct the symphony and Suite champêtre with the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra at the Turku Concert Hall at 4pm on Saturday 18 February, followed by an event at the Sibelius Museum in Turku on Sunday 19 February.
Suite champêtre was premiered together with the Sixth Symphony on 19 February 1923, by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer.
Along with the Saturday concert, there will be a lecture by Hannu Salmi, professor of cultural history (in Finnish). Tickets for the concert cost from €17.50 to €27.50.
The original hand-written score of the Sixth Symphony was graciously donated to Sibelius Museum by the composer himself in the autumn of 1955. To commemorate its centenary, this score will be made available to the public for a limited time, both physically as well as in the form of a digitalisation that can be browsed freely.
On Sunday 19 February the Sibelius Museum will be open from 11 am until 4 pm, with free admission. From 12 noon until 1.15 pm there will be a programme of events:
Folke Gräsbeck will perform the composer’s piano version of Suite champêtre
Andrew Barnett will give a talk on interpretations and recordings of the Sixth Symphony (in Swedish)
Timo Virtanen, editor-in-chief of the JSW critical edition, will talk about the Sixth Symphony and Sibelius in 1923 (in Finnish).
From 1.15 pm onwards the digital score will be available for browsing
Information about the Saturday concert: click here
Information about the event at the Sibelius Museum: click here
Jean Sibelius – Of ice and fire, by Alessandro Zignani
Jean Sibelius – Dei ghiacci e del fuoco. Vita e musica (Jean Sibelius – Of ice and fire. Life and music) by Alessandro Zignani, a new book in Italian, has been published by Zecchini Editore.
Despite accusations of post-romantic epigonism, Sibelius’s music celebrates the eternity of a primeval nature where the cycles of the seasons are renewed, transcended rather than denied, in an acceptance of Fate that smacks of stoic serenity. In Sibelius, European civilisation confronts its own origins in the energies that shape the ice, the Arctic winds capable of fixing time in perennial harmonies, crystals eternally fixed in stone. His originality is subtle, difficult to navigate, and just as complex is his musical style made of resonances emanating from the basalts of the earth, tensions far removed from the rationality of European civilisation. In an age of transition such as ours, Sibelius returns with his enigmas to loom as a disturbing prophet. Isolating himself among lakes and forests, in his last thirty years he found the path to a silence that his music, perhaps, had evoked from the very beginning: a salvific return to nature, a benign divinity.
The prolific writer, musicologist, playwright and linguist Alessandro Zignani was born in Rimini in 1961. He is a founder member and on the board of directors of the Sibelius Society Italia.
ISBN: 978-88-6540-397-6. VIII+256 pages; 17x24cm. Price: €30.00.
Purchase link – click here: https://www.zecchini.com/jean-sibelius-dei-ghiacci-e-del-fuoco-vita-e-musica
A Performance Guide to the Songs of Jean Sibelius
A Performance Guide to the Songs of Jean Sibelius, by Kathleen Roland-Silverstein, is to be published by Oxford University Press (anticipated release date: late 2024). The book is intended to be an aid to performers of all of Sibelius’s songs, with phonetic and word-for-word translations, historical information about his poets and singers, a guide to Finnish and Finland-Swedish lyric diction and performance recommendations for each song opus.
Kathleen Roland-Silverstein is also the author of Romanser: 25 Swedish Art Songs with Guide to Swedish Lyric Diction (Gehrmans Musikförlag, 2013) and is the music reviewer for the Journal of Singing (National Association of Teachers of Singing). In addition, she is a highly regarded concert soloist and specialist in the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, and has been a featured singer with many music festivals, including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Britten-Pears Institute and the Tanglewood Music Festival. International performances include concerts in Sweden, Finland, Vietnam, Cambodia and Germany. She is a member of the faculty at Syracuse University in New York, at the Setnor School of Music.
Sibelius’s early Piano Quartet to be performed in USA
The Varro Quartet (photo: © Ching Ching Yap)
The Varro Quartet was formed by four young musicians from Georgia: Didi Stone (violin), Lucas Nyman (violin), Richard Wang (cello) and Erin Li (Piano) for the Franklin Pond Chamber Music ‘Fall into Spring’ Program. Franklin Pond Chamber Music is an organization that provides training for young musicians year-round to learn and perform chamber music.
Having secured permission from the Sibelius family, the Varro Quartet will perform Sibelius’s early and rarely heard Piano Quartet (1884) for the final concert of the Franklin Pond Chamber Music Program on 30 April 2023 – the first performance of the work in the USA. It may also be played this piece in the context of the Franklin Pond Chamber Music Competition in May 2023.
A complete performance of the Piano Quartet by these performers can meanwhile be found on YouTube:
Quartet in D minor, JS 157, for two violins, cello and piano (1884)
I. Andante molto – Allegro moderato [11’51]: https://youtu.be/mSDkvs3KIzY
II. Adagio [6’49]: https://youtu.be/OHjJx82iDtA
III. Menuetto [4’43]: https://youtu.be/Jas1Es4UK2o
IV. Grave – Rondo. Vivacissimo [8’40]: https://youtu.be/3Dfi_5A9u9A
Further information about the Varro Quartet and this project can be found in the current issue of the Sibelius One magazine.
Sibelius Concert at York University
Fenella Humphreys and Joseph Tong recording
music by Sibelius in 2020. Photo: © Dave Rowell
Fenella Humphreys and Joseph Tong will include a number of works by Sibelius in their recital at York University on Wednesday 22 February 2023 at 7.30pm.
Sibelius Five Pieces for violin and piano, Op. 81
Cheryl Frances-Hoad Sonatina
Sibelius Four Pieces for violin and piano, Op. 115
Rautavaara Summer Thoughts
Sibelius Danses champêtres, Op. 106
Ravel Sonata No. 2
Fenella Humphreys violin
Joseph Tong piano
Venue: Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, Campus West, University of York
Winner of the BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Award in 2018, Fenella Humphreys is admired by audiences the world over for the grace and intensity of her playing. She is joined by renowned British pianist Joseph Tong in a programme featuring some of Sibelius’s best-loved works for violin and piano. ‘Album of the Weekend’ on Scala Radio and ‘Chamber Choice’ in the March 2022 edition of BBC Music Magazine, the duo’s recent recording of these works has garnered widespread critical acclaim [click here for more information about the recording]. Alongside these charmful and inventive examples of Sibelius’ chamber music, their programme also includes Ravel’s jazz-infused Sonata in G major, Rautavaara’s romantic Summer Thoughts and the dynamic and charismatic Sonatina by former winner of the BBC Young Composer of the Year Competition Cheryl Frances-Hoad.
Sibelius One Magazine – January 2023
The new issue (January 2023) of Sibelius One’s full-colour magazine has now been sent out to subscribers.
Update for non-UK subscribers, 21 January 2023: All magazines have now been despatched although it is possible that there will be some delays with delivery owing to the ransomware attack affecting international post from the UK.
This issue includes:
Janne’s Rhine Journey: What Sibelius learned from Wagner Stephen Johnson
An interview with Dalia Stasevska
Following in Sibelius’s Footsteps
The Varro Quartet: introducing Sibelius’s Piano Quartet to the USA
To subscribe or order a copy, please click here to visit the Magazine page of this website.