Tag Archives: Scaramouche

Scaramouche – Sibelius’s horror story


Einar Rinne as Scaramouche
(© Finnish Theatre Museum Archive)

We are delighted to annouce the publication of a comprehensive article by Eija Kurki about Sibelius’s ballet-pantomime Scaramouche (1913, text by Poul Knudsen). This article is based on extensive new research and gives a detailed account of the historical background, the genesis of the music, its performance history and much more. A full list of sources is included.

Eija Kurki D. Phil. published her dissertation Satua, kuolemaa ja eksotiikkaa. Jean Sibeliuksen vuosisadan alun näyttämömusiikkiteokset (Fairy-tale, Death and Exoticism. Jean Sibelius’s Theatre Music from the Beginning of the 20th Century) in 1997. She has written numerous articles in various specialist publications both in Finland and internationally (e.g. Sibelius Studies, Cambridge University Press 2001).

The article is an expanded version of the essay published in Sibelius One’s Magazine in January 2020.

Please click here to read the article online or download it as a pdf file.

New Sibelius publications

Breitkopf & Härtel’s JSW complete edition has published the critically edited Urtext of the tone poem Finlandia as a stand-alone paperback score.

Finlandia is edited by JSW’S editor-in-chief Timo Virtanen and comes with a detailed preface discussing the tone poem’s genesis and publication history. It is fascinating to learn, for example, that Sibelius took the autograph score with him to German in the autumn of 1900 but lost it – necessitating an urgent message to his faithful copyist Ernst Rölling in Helsinki, asking for a score to be written out from the orchestral parts!

The paperback volume is much cheaper than the hardback one will be (SON 630, in preparation) but does not include the full explanation of sources and of the editorial decision-making process that will come when it appears in the full hardback edition. Some asterisks in the score indicate points that will be clarified in the forthcoming volume.

Breitkopf & Härtel Partitur-Bibiothek 5658
Price: €26.64
Orchestral parts also available for purchase.


Also newly released by Edition Wilhelm Hansen is an arrangement by Luukas Hiltunen for string quartet of the Scène d’amour from Scaramouche, Op. 71.

Sibelius himself arranged exctracts from the ballet-pantomime Scaramouche (1913) for piano, and the Scène d’amour also for violin and piano. This arrangement, which is based on the violin and piano version, received its world première performance on 23 March 2018 at the Church of the Cross in Lahti, Finland.

Luukas Hiltunen has also made orchestral arrangements of Sibelius’s organ pieces Intrada and Surusoitto, Op. 111. More information on those arrangements was published in Sibelius One’s magazine in January 2019.

Wilhelm Hansen WH33255