When the New York Philharmonic's radio audience was polled in 1935, the most popular composer was Jean Sibelius, whose music held a unique fascination for listeners of the 1930s, '40s and '50s. Having passed through a period of coolness on the part of the musical establishment, in the 1990s Sibelius's music again enjoys widespread critical appreciation, along with greater exposure than ever before in concert programs worldwide. Meanwhile, our knowledge of the man and the sources of his music has expanded and deepened. It is this new awareness that Robert Layton has distilled into this thoroughly revised edition of his groundbreaking biography, Sibelius.
More clearly than ever, Sibelius emerges as an artist who drew inspiration from two crucial sources: nature and mythology. He belonged to a generation of composers who could still use music to capture an emotional response to landscape, weather, the natural rhythms of the world. Even more central to his creativity was his involvement with Finnish myth, as codified in the national epic poem, the Kalevala. This haunting world of warriors and enchantments provided Sibelius with the program for a series of memorable symphonic poems, from the poignant Swan of Tuonela to the majestic Tapiola. His artistic development was intertwined with his use of mythology to an extent unparalleled since Wagner.
Christened Johan and called Janne by his relatives and friends, Sibelius took the name Jean in imitation of a seagoing uncle who used the French form of his name when abroad. It seems an odd choice for a composer who led the least cosmopolitan of lives. He took an interest in the revolutionary new directions of twentieth-century music, but for himself he pursued the development of a personal voice in the context of the traditional symphonic idiom. And because he remained true to his inner vision, his music remains radiantly alive.
Robert Layton's Sibelius is a revealing guide to the life and to the works. Above all, he provides illuminating analyses of the music, both tracing the formal means that Sibelius developed at each new phase of his career, and identifying the events and experiences that left an imprint on this extraordinary musical personality.
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Descripción Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1983. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110460021931