Saturday, December 10, 2016

With apologies to AND more importantly in celebration of Jean Sibelius (Birthday No. 151)

I suppose there is no need to apologize to the great Sibelius; he has no knowledge of my love for his music, and it is without a doubt that I say he is not a follower of this blog. However for the last couple of years I posted ON his birthday, not two days later : / 

Happy 151st birthday, maestro!! How I day dream about what it would have been like to meet you - I'd be too choked up to speak I would imagine; your genius has enriched my life - it has added meaning by way of it's endless beauty, indeed, each note from your pen has taken me to far away places. Landscapes and nature so beguiling and overwhelming that the musical summoning allows for blissful travel without moving - and with this my heart grows so expansively that it feels as though I can touch, feel and smell the forests, the icy crystalline snow beneath my feet, the majestic earth upon which I leave footprints as gusting winds swirl around me - are these the magical Sibelian winds crafted from wood? yes! The waters, rocks, sky, sun and animals of the North all become symphonies! To the elements your music adds emotional intent - and endows them powerfully by way of sound. Maestro, I thank you wholeheartedly for all of the joy- it has literally saved my life over the years.

Shostakovich sat at his piano with a cigarette almost always hanging from his mouth, while Sibelius preferred a schweet cigar.

A very young Sibelius

                            At the Finnish Cultural Garden in Cleveland Ohio

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s visit to Ainola in 1955, with its conductor Eugene Ormandy. On the left of the porch, Jean Sibelius next to Eugene Ormandy. Not everyone receives an entire orchestra as house crasher!

Golden years.

Aino and Jean - fine postage!

Sibelius's beloved Ainola in Järvenpää - and such a lovely angle of it here. Simply idyllic - which Sibelius works come to
mind for you whilst viewing this actual nature poem?

Another charming shot. By this time Ainola was already an official museum; the Finnish State bought the house in 1972 and it was in 1974 that Ainola opened to the public.

The tranquility, beauty, and rural surroundings of Ainola afforded Sibelius the ideal conditions for a happy life far removed from the stress of big cities and distraction. Some of his greatest masterpieces were penned here including the symphonies Nos. 3 - 7.

Jean and Aino, 1915. I too peruse the Sunday Times on lazy Sundays ;)

Statue of Sibelius in his birthplace of Hämeenlinna.

The Finnish master seems to have such a towering appearance here, not unlike the statue in his honor directly above.

A signature in pencil. Oh how I would love to own and frame this!  

Jean Sibelius with his daughters Heidi and Margaret.

Enjoying the wilderness - during the 1940s.

Resting place of Aino and Jean Sibelius in the garden at Ainola.

I apologize that this post does not include any actual Sibelius. I do hope you all enjoy the photos. I have a rather nasty cold and don't have the energy to go through countless Sibelius recordings only to become neurotically obsessed over which ones to post - should it be BIS releases? A few Chandos discs perhaps? D.G. or Decca? Directed by Segerstam, Vänskä,  Sakari, Järvi, Karajan, Berglund, C. Davis, Maazel, Kamu, Rattle, Collins etc. etc.?? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! And so on..

I will however make every effort tomorrow (Sunday) to upload a few treasures (and not necessarily Scandinavian) to make the weekend's final moments a bit nicer for you. And, for me as well.



Guillermo said...


Tzadik said...

Why thank you, Guillermo. Thank you for commenting - and how can one not love Sibelius if one is blessed with the ability to hear?? ;-)

-Your favorite Sibelius works?


Pia said...

That's touching Tz :)

Tzadik said...

Thank you Pia :D

centuri said...

Thanks so much for celebrating his birthday and for all these beautiful and touching pictures. Sibelius remains a GREAT composer moving from romanticism/ nationalism to the enigmatic 7th symphony......and I was born the same day, haha !!

Tzadik said...

Hello centuri it is nice to hear from you! You are welcome, thank you for commenting and with such warm words :) Sibelius will always be one of the top symphonists of all time - what I would do without his music, well I dunnooooo. And you share the creation date with the 7th; that's pretty cool! That means that good ol' Jean and good ol' you were born in the same......centuri (sorry I couldn't help it, bad joke I know and especially so as it's not in any way correct)