Jean Sibelius , born the December 8th 1865 with Hämeenlinna and dead the September 20th 1957 with Järvenpää, close to Helsinki, is a Compositeur Finnish of Classical music. He is, with Johan Ludvig Runeberg, one of the Finns who symbolize best the birth of the Finnish national identity, although he is suédophone (like besides Runeberg).


Johan Christian Julius (Janne for his friends and Jean, in French, for its musical activity) was born with Hämeenlinna ( Tavastehus in Swedish) in north from Helsinki, in a family speaking the Swedish, and made its studies in a school of language Finnois E. Studying in right, it stopped its studies before finishing them. He studied then the violin and the composition with the academy of Helsinki, Berlin and Vienna, with Wegellus (Helsinki), Becker (Berlin) and Karl Goldmark (Vienna) in particular. He failed becoming violonist in the Philharmonique of Vienna and of return to Helsinki in 1892, he taught the musical theory there. Between 1900 and 1929, encouraged by its pars, and in spite of long periods of depression, it was devoted almost exclusively to the composition. In the the Thirties, it rather brutally ceased composing, in particular because of the success of the Dodécaphonisme and the Serial music, but also probably of the completion of its own esthetics in the Seventh symphony and Tapiola . Become alcoholic, he died in 1957 at the age of quatre-vingt-onze years.

Work analyzes

In addition to its Concerto for violin , which remains the most played of its works, Sibelius is especially known for the seven Symphonie S of which he is the author (he destroyed a eighth of it). It composed in addition many symphonic poems very representative of its style, inspired by scenes of the Kalevala, Finnish epopee national consisted of several bodies of accounts. But Sibelius, which one often exaggerates the Nationalisme and the rooting in the Finnish tradition musical, was on the contrary attentive with the musical revolutions which marked Europe of its time, and even if its style remains deeply original, one can hear there the echo of works of Wagner, Debussy or Bartók.

This type-setter, with whom Lucien Rebatet reproached for incarnating “most tedious of the serious musicians”, is regarded today as one of the largest symphonists of the beginning of the 20th century, although its musical language remains deeply tonal, and without one being able to identify the importance of his work to that of his Mahler contemporary, who exhausts the symphonic kind by a double movement of extension and decomposition of the precisely contrary form with esthetics sibélienne of a concentration close to the asceticism (Olin Downes spoke about a " monolith side-consonnant" in connection with Tapiola ). Sibelius will evoke same " pure water froide" of its Sixth Symphony , with the modal harmony which ressuscitent the old Gregorian polyphony, published in reaction to the " cocktails" musical of its time.

However, nothing would be falser than to see in Sibelius a musician reactionary. He inherits certainly the kinds devoted by the traditional tradition (symphony and concerto), but he imposes in the majority of his orchestral works a minimal counterpoint, an atmosphere charged resting on accumulation with the sound layers, and a form of cyclicity which contradict the primacy of the melody and return the continuation of the harmonic metamorphoses only responsible for the dramatic tension. Melody lucky finds (like the Second Serenade for Violin opus 69b in minor ground) and of the unforgettable topics strew nevertheless its work, with the image of those which inaugurate in a diaphanous atmosphere of stained glass its Concerto for violin and its Sixth Symphony , or of those which complete in a hymnic clamor some of its Symphonies (the Deuxième and the Cinquième in particular). Its First Symphony , during Scandinavian of the Dreams of winter of Tchaikovski, is with the Troisième undoubtedly most traditional of its creations and the least characteristic of mysticism " écologique" which he will arrive by purely musical means ( Fourth Symphony ) and without anything to have with any religious faith nor to never write " music sacrée". In its last opus ( Seventh Symphony , Tapiola ), he manages to work works where the movements are imperceptibly connected the ones with the others and which draw their unit from an organic development comparable with that of an alive cell (proceeded which will be that of Debussy of the Jeux , or of the Strauss of the Métamorphoses ).

Its more big bosses of works are undoubtedly its Second , Fourth , Fifth and Seventh symphonies , like its Concerto for violin , but also among its other works, In Saga , Kullervo (vast symphonic poem with chorus and soloists thanks to which it obtained at twenty-six years a great notoriety), its incidental music the Storm , its Cantate S (in particular Oma Maa and Snofrid ) and especially its ultimate symphonic poem, Tapiola , motionless, unmemorable and mysterious monolith sound, kind of musical equivalent with that put in scene by Kubrick in 2001, the odyssey of the space (film whose music borrows besides passages of the Fourth symphony ). Its symphonic poem Finlandia , written in 1899 - 1900, became the symbol of Finnish resistance with respect to the Russian occupation. Its most known work of the general public is, with the Sad Valse (drawn from the incidental music Kuolema ), the Swan of Tuonela , extracted from a continuation much vaster ( Légendes of Lemminkainen ) which deserves to be known in its entirety. Let us quote also Océanides , night Chevauchée and rising of the sun , Pelléas and Mélisande , Luonnotar , the Queen captivates , the Girl of Pohjola , the Origin of fire , the Bard , the Nymph of wood , Chanson of spring , like Voces intimae , most known of its String quartet, Korpo , a trio of youth, and a Quintette for piano in minor ground generally ignored. He also worked with a project of opera which he never completed, the Construction of the boat , but a lyric work in an act, the Young girl in the tower exists indeed even if she is practically never played.

Many type-setters of second half of the 20th century found in Sibelius a worthy precursor while the type-setters of film music plundered without complexes a rich work of topics epic and imposing (with the example of last measurements of the first movement of the Third symphony ). Often described as pantheist, this empty music men who celebrates nature in his primitive force and depicts the legendary rumors which traverse it, is of a power and an austerity which are combined in vast incantations with the secret and inexhaustible beauties.

One of its most brilliant pupils is the type-setter Leevi Madetoja, also Finnish. The interpreters of Sibelius divide themselves between those which exaltent its Finnish particularism (Paavo Berglund is emblématique of between-them) and those which project it towards the Germanic symphonic standards (as Lorin Maazel did it by signing an integral of its Symphonies with the head of Philarmonique of Vienna). It is necessary to as quote Herbert von Karajan (as Sibelius itself sometimes rented sometimes rejected), very near to its Scandinavian esthetics to a little lunar anonymity, Leonard Bernstein, much more impassioned, and more recently Sir Colin Davis, Paavo Järvi and Osmo Vänskä. A historical interpretation of In Saga by Wilhelm Furtwängler gone back to 1943 is always available, as well as a Second symphony by Arturo Toscanini. With the piano, only Glenn Gould was made the defender of partitions minimalists, sometimes even poor, transfigured by the brilliant Canadian ( Sonatines , Suite Kyllikki ). Lastly, the melodies, generally and perhaps legitimately underestimated, were recorded almost completely by Anne-Sofie von Otter.

Principal works

; Symphonies
  • Symphony n° 1 as a semi minor, COp 39 (1899)
  • Symphony n° 2 in major D, COp 43 (1902)
  • Symphony n° 3 in major C, COp 52 (1906)
  • Symphony n° 4 in the minor, COp 64 (1911)
  • Symphony n° 5 in major E flat, COp 82 (1915; revised in 1916 and 1919)
  • Symphony n° 6 in minor D, COp 104 (1923)
  • Symphony n° 7 in major C, COp 105 (1924)
; Concertos
  • Concerto for violin in minor D, COp 47 (1903-1904, revised in 1905)
; Symphonic parts
  • In saga (1892-1901)
  • Finlandia (1899), quickly become a semi-official anthem of Finland (cf Maamme)
  • Karelia
  • Kullervo (1892)
  • Continuation Lemminkäinen (1893) whose most known part is the Swan of night Tuonela
  • Chevauchée and sunrise , COp 55 (1908)
  • Océanides , COp 73 (1914)
  • Incidental music for “the Storm ” (1925) from which result two continuations COp 109 n° 2 and 3
  • Tapiola , COp 112 (1925-1926), symphonic poem
; Various
  • In etsi valtaa loistoa (1895), popular Christmas carol
  • Jääkärin marssi ( the walk of the hunter ) (1915)
  • Voces intimae (1909), string quartet
  • Continuation Rakastava , COp 14
  • Kuolema ( death), COp 44 which includes the Sad Valse , COp 44 n° 1

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