Sibelius, composing at the keys
Jean Sibelius was born today on December 8. Most people would name Finlandia or his Violin Concerto off the top of their heads if asked “What is Siblelius known for?” His reputation was made on a few symphonies, some tone poems (a one-movement symphonic work that’s descriptive in nature), and his Violin Concerto. However, many of his compositions were hit and miss, and his overall output (over a hundred songs, piano pieces, 50 works for violin and piano, choruses, a couple of string quartets, and an opera – who knew?) didn’t become part of the standard repertoire.
The Violin Concerto is a great example of Sibelius’ ability to write sweeping, intensely passionate themes, and Maxim Vengerov is the perfect artist for it. Here’s the third movement of the Sibelius Violin Concerto.
Jean Sibelius was born December 8, 1865 in Hämeenlinna, Finland, and died September 20, 1957, in Helsinki.