Monthly Archives: May 2016

Arts in Residence – Sibelius


Music by Sibelius will feature prominently at courses arranged by Arts in Residence in November 2016 and January 2017.

The courses are directed by Terry Barfoot. Terry writes widely on music for Britain’s leading journals, orchestras, festivals and record companies. He lectures at venues throughout the country and is publications consultant to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Sibelius’s Seventh Symphony is one of the featured works in the weekend course ‘The Symphony in the 20th Century’, taking place on Friday 18–Sunday 20 November 2016
at the Wroxton House Hotel near Banbury, Oxfordshire. Other symphonies under discussion are by Elgar (No. 1), Honegger (No. 2), Walton (No. 1), Shostaovich (No. 4), Vaughan Williams (No. 5), Prokofiev (No. 5) and Nielsen (No. 5). Click here for a course leaflet (Banbury).

This course is being repeated at the Grange at Oborne, near Sherborne in Dorset on 29 November – 1 December.  Click here for a course leaflet (Sherborne).

On 10–12 January 2017 a course concentrating entirely on Sibelius will take place at the Connaught Hotel, Bournemouth. The primary focus of the course will be the Fifth Symphony, and attendees will hear the work in concert at the Lighthouse, Poole on 11 January, performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Feddeck. Further information on this event will be published later.

Bookings: Arts in Residence, 25 Mulberry Lane, Cosham, Portsmouth, PO6 2QU
Enquiries: 02392 383356

Sotheby’s auction results


Of the four Sibelius manuscripts auctioned at Sotheby’s on 24 May 2016, two found buyers.

Pohjola’s Daughter (Lot 149) was sold for £221,000 (including buyer’s premium).

Pages from The Captive Queen (Lot 152) were sold for £32,500 (including buyer’s premium).

The piano transcription of Pelléas et Mélisande (Lot 151) and pages from the Violin Concerto (Lot 150) remained unsold.

New JSW release: Overture in E major & Ballettscen


The latest release in Breitkopf & Härtel’s JSW critical edition of Sibelius’s music contains two orchestral rarities: the Overture in E major, JS 145, and Ballettscen, JS 163. These are Sibelius’s first two purely orchestral works, dating from his study year in Vienna (1890–91).

This volume is edited by Tuija Wicklund. Among the new information revealed in the volume is that the ending of Ballettscen was changed: the one in the autograph manuscript differs from the one in the score made by the copyist Ernst Röllig.

The catalogue number is SON 627 and the volume costs €141.88.

More information (including downloadable introduction in English and German) and orders:

See also: review of the JSW Scènes historiques (SON 625): click here

Sibelius and Elgar in Worcester


The Worcestershire Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kevin Slade will perform a programme of Sibelius (Finlandia; Symphony No. 5) and Elgar (Violin Concerto – soloist Martin Cropper) at St Martin’s Church, London Road, Worcester at 7.30 pm on Saturday 21 May 2016.

The orchestra, which was founded over 100 years ago with the help of Edward Elgar, gave its first concert in the Public Hall, Worcester, on 26 April 1906, with Ivor Atkins conducting more than 100 players. Elgar assisted in drawing up the programme, and conducted occasionally in performances of his own works. His daughter Carice played the violin in the orchestra for many years. Today Keith Slade is the Worcestershire Symphony Orchestra’s dynamic young conductor. He studied the clarinet at the Royal Northern College of Music and is a former BBC Young Musician of the Year Woodwind Finalist.

Tickets are available via the orchestra’s website (click here): Adults £12 / Concessions £10 / Children £5 (one free with each adult ticket).

Worst composer ever? (new article)

The Polish-born but naturalized French composer, conductor, music theorist and teacher René Leibowitz (1913–72) was significant in promoting serialism and the New Music in France after World War II, and famously described Sibelius – on the occasion of the Finnish composer’s 90th birthday – as ‘le plus mauvais compositeur du monde’. In a new article Ronald Powell discusses his music in the context of other composers, notably those of the Second Viennese School. Click here to read the article.

Sibelius i Korpo 2016

The folk museum in Korpo, Finland (photo: © Västgöten / Wikimedia Creative Commons)
The fifteenth ‘Sibelius i Korpo’ festival will take place on 22–24 July 2016.

The programmes feature also music by Ferruccio Busoni (1866–1924), in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of his birth. Performers at this years’s festival include:

Satu Jalas, violin
Sebastian Silén, violin
Domenico Ermirio, cello
Hedvig Paulig, soprano
Folke Gräsbeck, piano & artistic director

Provisional concert programmes are as follows:

Friday 22 July 2016 at 9 pm / Korpo gård
Busoni: Andante mit Variationen und Scherzo for piano trio
Sibelius: Florestan, suite for piano
Songs: Skogsrået; Likhet; Jubal
King Christian II, incidental music
Malinconia for cello & piano
Armas Järnefelt: Berceuse

Saturday 23 July 2016 at 6 pm / Korpo gård
Busoni: Kultaselle Variations
J.S. Bach/Busoni: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
Sibelius: Étude for solo violin
Suite in E major for violin & piano
Sonata in F major for violin & piano
Sibelius’s granddaughter Satu Jalas will also make a presentation about her grandfather.

Sunday 24 July 2016 at 4 pm / Korpo gård
Piano Trio in A minor, ‘Hafträsk’
Rondino, Romance, Tanz-Idylle, Humoresque & Valse for violin & piano
Armas Järnefelt: Songs: Titania; Du (Karl Asplund); Leivo; Viel’ ois virttä tieossani
Sibelius: Songs: Jag kysser dig och ledsnar ej; Löjet var utan hem [World Première Performance]; Sommarnatt; Vem styrde hit din väg?
Danses champêtres Nos 1–3 for violin and piano

There will also be the traditional annual ceremony, with music, speeches and flowers, at the Sibelius statue in Korpo village, at 1 pm on Saturday 23 July, with festival organizer Petri Kirkkomäki and Erkki Korhonen from the Sibelius Birth Town Foundation, Hämeenlinna.

On Sunday 24 July at 11 am there will be a screening of Douglas Sivén’s documantary film ‘Sibelius i Korpo’.

Further information will be posted when available.

Ferruccio Busoni (photo: Public Domain)
Ferruccio Busoni (photo: Public Domain)

Sibelius Festival – Golfo del Tigullio e Riviera 2016


The second Sibelius Festival – Golfo del Tigullio e Riviera (artistic director: Federico Ermirio) will take place in October 2016. The festival will include a range of concerts, with artists including Eva Alkula (kantele), Eva Wymola (mezzo-soprano), Essi Kiiski (violin), Eduardo Andrade (piano), Domenico Ermirio (cello), Andrea Carcano (piano) and Folke Gräsbeck (piano). There will also be a screening of Timo Koivusalo’s 2003 film Sibelius starring Martti Suosalo and Miina Turunen.

Visit the Festival’s website for further information.

Call for scores: ‘Pocket Ballet: Kalevala’ (2017)

The third Sibelius Festival – Golfo del Tigullio e Riviera (October 2017) will host Pocket Ballet, a project born some years ago, dedicated – as the title suggests – to the creation of events involving a small number of dancers and musicians. The first of these, Isofromatem, was premièred in Italy in 2014, introducing new works by four living composers from Italy, Greece, Israel and Finland. For 2017 a new ballet project, with a duration of less then one hour, inspired by the Finnish epic poem Kalevala, will be realized by choreographer Peter Larsen. The music will be entrusted to an instrumental trio: accordion, viola and kantele. All Finnish composers born after 31 December 1981 are eligible to submit scores for consideration.

For further information please click the link below to download a pdf document
Pocket Ballet – Kalevala – Call for Scores 2017


New article: Christmas Songs

Christmas lights, Aleksanderinkatu, Helsinki (Photo: © JIP / Wikipedia Creative Commons)
Christmas lights, Aleksanderinkatu, Helsinki (Photo: © JIP / Wikipedia Creative Commons)

On 1 May 1913 – ‘Vappu’, the very day that Finland celebrates the coming of springtime – Sibelius composed two Christmas Songs! Thus today, 1 May 2016, we have added a new article about Sibelius’s Five Christmas Songs, Op. 1, to our library of texts about Sibelius’s music. Click here for the article.

For a limited period this article is available to all visitors to this website. After that (and to access other articles in the same series) please use your membership log-in. To become a member, click here.