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.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments and Permissions viiSibelius, Finland, and the Idea of Landscape ix
PART I: ESSAYS Sibelius and the Russian Traditions by PHILIP ROSS BULLOCK 3 From Heaven’s Floor to the Composer’s Desk: Sibelius’s Musical Manuscripts and Compositional Process by TIMO VIRTANEN 58Theatrical Sibelius: The Melodramatic Lizard by JEFFREY KALLBERG 74The Wings of a Butterfly: Sibelius and the Problems of Musical Modernity by TOMI MÄKELÄ 89“Thor’s Hammer”: Sibelius and British Music Critics, 1905-1957 by BYRON ADAMS 125Jean Sibelius and His American Connections by GLENDA DAWN GOSS 158Art and the Ideology of Nature: Sibelius, Hamsun, Adorno by MAX PADDISON 173Storms, Symphonies, Silence: Sibelius’s Tempest Music 186 and the Invention of Late Style by DANIEL M. GRIMLEY 186Waving from the Periphery: Sibelius, Aalto, and the Finnish Pavilions SARAH MENIN 227Old Masters: Jean Sibelius and Richard Strauss in the Twentieth Century by LEON BOTSTEIN
PART II: DOCUMENTS 256Selections from Adolf Paul’s A Book About a Human Being 307TRANSLATED BY ANNIKA LINDSKOGINTRODUCED BY DANIEL M. GRIMLEY
Some Viewpoints Concerning Folk Music and Its Influence on the Musical Arts by JEAN SIBELIUS 315TRANSLATED FROM THE SWEDISH BY MARGARETA MARTININTRODUCED BY DANIEL M. GRIMLEY
Selection from Erik Furuhjelm’s Jean Sibelius: A Survey of His Life and Music 326TRANSLATED BY MARGARETA MARTININTRODUCED BY DANIEL M. GRIMLEY
Adorno on Sibelius 331TRANSLATED BY SUSAN H. GILLESPIEINTRODUCED BY DANIEL M. GRIMLEY
Monumentalizing Sibelius: Eila Hiltunen and the Sibelius Memorial Controversy 338INTRODUCED AND TRANSLATED BY DANIEL M. GRIMLEY
Index 355Notes on the Contributors 368