Jean Sibelius and His World (The Bard Music Festival)
Daniel M. Grimley
Perhaps no twentieth-century composer has provoked a more varied reaction among the music-loving public than Jean Sibelius (1865-1957). Originally hailed as a new Beethoven by much of the Anglo-Saxon world, he was also widely disparaged by critics more receptive to newer trends in music. At the height of his popular appeal, he was revered as the embodiment of Finnish nationalism and the apostle of a new musical naturalism. Yet he seemingly chose that moment to stop composing altogether, despite living for three more decades. Providing wide cultural contexts, contesting received ideas about modernism, and interrogating notions of landscape and nature, Jean Sibelius and His World sheds new light on the critical position occupied by Sibelius in the Western musical tradition.
The essays in the book explore such varied themes as the impact of Russian musical traditions on Sibelius, his compositional process, Sibelius and the theater, his understanding of music as a fluid and improvised creation, his critical reception in Great Britain and America, his "late style" in the incidental music for The Tempest, and the parallel contemporary careers of Sibelius and Richard Strauss.
Documents include the draft of Sibelius's 1896 lecture on folk music, selections from a roman à clef about his student circle in Berlin at the turn of the century, Theodor Adorno's brief but controversial tirade against the composer, and the newspaper debates about the Sibelius monument unveiled in Helsinki a decade after the composer's death.
The contributors are Byron Adams, Leon Botstein, Philip Ross Bullock, Glenda Dawn Goss, Daniel Grimley, Jeffrey Kallberg, Tomi Mäkelä, Sarah Menin, Max Paddison, and Timo Virtanen.
(in two volumes) by William Archer, Mary Morrison, and Diana White (London: William Heinemann, 1898), French and German. Some of the Shakespearean allusions in Brandes’s text are lost in Archer, Morrison, and White’s translation (see below). 40. Niels B. Hansen, “Observations on Georg Brandes’s Contribution to the Study of Shakespeare,” in Shakespeare in Scandinavia, ed. Gunnar Sorelius (Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 2002), 148–67. 41. Ibid., 151. 42. Brandes, William Shakespeare,
that it could embrace as its own. Many sympathetic observers sensed the building’s “Finnishness.” Sibelius’s friend, the photographer I. K. Inha, wrote: Figure 2. Vaulted interior of the Paris Pavilion, Gallen-Kallela frescos The shingle roof reminds us of the shingle roofs of our ancient stone churches. Its walls and windows resemble original country dwellings—stone cowsheds, as they have been called. The tower on the roof is like a belfry, and the outside ornamentation is a vivid reminder of
are unmistakable. After 1900, however, Saarinen began experimenting, moving away from late nineteenth-century Romantic and neoclassical impulses, just as Sibelius distanced himself from the lavish illustrative realism of Liszt and Wagner or its synthesis with sonata form and thematic transformation found in Strauss’s tone poems of the 1890s. Figure 2. Eliel Saarinen, staircase spiral in the Pohjola Insurance Company Building, Helsinki, 1899–1901. Figure 3. Eliel Saarinen, staircase detail in
3, 5–17, 166, 225n53, 230; musical traditions of, 24–49, 126, 230, 260 (see also specific composers); Revolution of 1917, 227, 326 Russian Orthodox Church, 239 Russification, 3, 13–14 Ruuti, Axel, 162 Rydberg, Viktor, 84 Saarinen, Eliel, 149, 228, 229, 234, 276, 277, 281–95, 302n81, n82, 303n100, n101, 345; The City: Its Growth, Its Decay, Its Future, 288; Finnish Pavilion, Paris Universal Exposition, 228–31, 229, 230, 234, 250, 281; Helsinki Railway Station, 284, 284–85, 292; Hvitträsk,
resistance or rebellion within the Grand Duchy itself. The establishment of institutions such as the University of Helsinki (moved to the capital after a fire at the Åbo/Turku Academy in 1827) and the Finnish Literature Society (Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, founded 1831) was sponsored by the Russian authorities as a way of promoting a form of Finnish nationalism that would be both loyal and grateful to imperial rule.28 The publication of Lönnrot’s edition of the Kalevala by the Finnish