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BOOKS

Jean Sibelius by Santeri Levas

Jean Sibelius by Santeri Levas

Jean Sibelius
By Santeri Levas

In 1938 the author was appointed secretary to Jean Sibelius and worked for him for nearly 20 years until the death of the composer in 1957. During this period Levas made notes about his conversations with Sibelius and about life in all its aspects at Ainola, the home of the Sibelius family. The book contains unique insights into Sibelius’s many musical and non-musical interests. Much of the writing is conversational in tone, recording Sibelius’s words and thoughts on many subjects.

Sibelius Reflections by Edward Clark

Sibelius Reflections by Edward Clark

Sibelius Reflections
By Edward Clark

Edward Clark has been the President of the UK Sibelius Society since 1990. He was awarded the Sibelius Medal in 1992 and Knight of the Order of the Lion of Finland for services to Sibelius and Finnish music in 2018.

His book, published in 2006, combines a memoire of his love and admiration for Sibelius kindled at his school in the early 1960’s with an up-to-date biography and articles written for the society Newsletter over many years.

CDs

Koussevitzky Broadcasts 1943–46

Koussevitzky Broadcasts 1943–46

Serge Koussevitzky was one of Sibelius’s greatest American champions and much admired by Sibelius. These two CDs contain broadcast performances from concerts held in Boston during the 1940’s and allow us to hear Koussevitzky live in concert compared to his better-known recordings in the studio. The performance of the Sixth Symphony is very rare.

The CD set has a note written by Edward Clark

Fougstedt and Andrade

Fougstedt and Andrade
Pelléas et Mélisande Suite (extracts)
Symphony No.7
Violin Concerto with Janine Andrade

Nils-Eric Fougstedt was a favoured Finnish conductor of Sibelius’s music. The Pelléas et Mélisande Suite extracts and the Seventh Symphony were broadcast in 1953. The Violin Concerto was released on a 10” Decca LP c. 1959. It did not have wide circulation in Europe. It is now a collectors’ item and has great rarity value.
The soloist was Janine Andrade, one of a number of French female violinists whose careers flourished after the end of the war. One of her contemporaries was Ginette Neveu, whose recording of the Sibelius concerto in 1946 became widely admired. Neveu died in a plane crash in 1949. Andrade’s career won critical praise until a catastrophic stroke in 1972 brought an end to her public life. She spent the last years of her life in a nursing home and she died in 1997.

The Seventh Symphony recording is the only preserved performance by a Finnish conductor which represents the Finnish performance tradition in this work before Sibelius died in 1957. There are no recordings by Robert Kajanus, Tauno Hannikainen, Armas Järnefelt or Georg Schnéevoigt. It is, therefore, an important addition to the early recording history of this late work.

The remastering transfers onto CD from the original LPs have been done by Mark Obert Thorn.
The CD has a note written by Edward Clark

Armas Järnefeldt conducts Symph. Nos 2 & 6

Järnefeldt conducts Symphs. 2 & 6

Armas Järnefelt conducts
Symphonies Nos 2 &

Armas Järnefelt was a composer and conductor who introduced Richard Wagner’s operas into Finland and who is known for his works for small orchestra.

He studied under Busoni in Helsinki and Massenet in Paris. His early career was in Finland, giving the first performances of Wagner’s operas in Finland. He was appointed conductor of the Royal Opera in Stockholm in 1907 and in 1910 became a naturalised Swedish citizen. In 1932 he returned to Finland as director of the Helsinki Opera. He wrote songs and choral, orchestral and piano music but became best known for his Berceuse (1904) and Praeludium (1900) for small orchestra.

Today he is best known for being Sibelius’s brother-in-law; his sister, Aino married Sibelius. He conducted Sibelius throughout his career but left few recordings, the best known is of the Violin Concerto with Anja Ignatius, recorded in Berlin in 1943. The two recordings on our new society CD are of symphonies 2 and 6.

The Second symphony comes from a concert broadcast made on Sibelius’s 80th birthday, the 8th December 1945. It was to be Järnefelt’s last concert, which makes the performance so moving and poignant. Also, it is one of the finest and most interesting interpretations ever to be heard.

The Sixth Symphony comes from a Finnish radio broadcast made in the Helsinki University Hall on the 18th April 1941. It is a performance that illuminates the poetry behind the notes of this enigmatic score.

Details of the orchestras and original sources are included in the CD notes.

DOWNLOAD ORDER FORM

Please download the ORDER FORM (PDF – will open a new page/tab).