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Thread: Sibelius Lover

  1. #1
    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Default Sibelius Lover

    Hello all, happy to be here.

    I am a Canadian born musician, now living and working in the Czech Repbulic.

    My favourite composer is Sibelius, I am doing everything I can to promote his name in CZ, where he is not played very often.

    If you wish to participate in some very specific discussions about Sibelius, click the link in my signature!

    Looking forward to some good talk here!

  2. #2
    Senior Member linz's Avatar
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    I havn't the slightest doubt in my mind that Jean Sibelius wasn't even more impactful at impressionistic harmonies then even Claude Debussy with such brilliant works as his 5th, but my question is why, at the summits of his ability, did he quit composing?

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    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Sibelius and harmony
    Yes, he has a distinct harmonic style, with much use of half-diminished seventh chords (i.e. C - Eb - Gb - Bb ), which allow for much tonal ambiguity. However, Sibelius' harmonic style differs from Debussy's in that harmony in Debussy is a means of tone painting, while Sibelius still emphasizes functional harmony over large structures.

    Sibelius and Retirement
    Sibelius never composed "easily", each major composition was a painstaking process with many sketches and reworkings, much akin to Beethoven. Additionally, Sibelius had the habit of making major revisions to his works. The 5th symphony that you mention was first completed in 1914, but that is the first of 3 versions, the last and definitive one being finally completed in 1919. Although Sibelius never spoke of exactly why he stopped publishing new works, the best guess is that his drinking had finally taken its toll and he was no longer able to subject his mind and body to the rigourous regime that his compositions required.

    linz, if you would care to register in my forum and post this topic in the "Biography" section, I would be very happy to welcome you there!

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    You might say he got "pissed-off" with it!

    Real shame that. Another few symphonies would have been nice.

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    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    "Another few" would have been a landslide!

    I would have been happy with just the 8th.

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