Celebration of Sibelius’ 150th Birthday
The Finnish composer Sibelius 1865 – 1957, has been celebrated all year culminating yesterday at his birthday. Never before have I heard so much of his music in one day. All day via my Danish Radio and in the evening live transmission from the town Hämeenlinna he was born not far from Helsinki. All over Finland flags were raised for his sake and many concerts were held to his honor.
Listening to his symphonies yesterday and today convinced me of his great importance for Finland. Finland is a very new country as they only got their independence 98 years ago.
His native language was Swedish and only after his tenth year he was taught Finnish. He was drawn to the sagas of the Finnish tradition, but all his life he spoke and wrote in Swedish. Finland has been under Swedish supremely first and then Russian.
This week in our Danish classical radio channel the CD of the week was chosen to be his seven symphonies. To listen to them is a time travel in his compositions.
His music is creating imagination and is both dark and tragic and has lots of beautiful melodies. He uses lots of instruments strings, wind, kettledrums and percussion and you just feel the impressive landscapes with wild animals in lakes and forests.
My husband and I visited his house Ainola , where he lived from 1904-1957. The name is similar to the name of his wife Aino. It was not so easy to find, hiding between trees in the countryside. We were not allowed to take pictures inside unfortunately.
He is buried there and didn’t compose anything the last 30 years.