Monthly Archives: February 2023

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: