Don’t speak, I know what you’re saying

September 8, 2016 at 11:10 am

Deeply moving music sometimes tells a harrowing narrative, has a long backstory, speaks from the depths of depression, or is woven with deep philosophical thought. But sometimes the best stuff requires no explanation – like the haunting Valse Triste. Thank you, Jean Sibelius. Why speak words when you can communicate like this?


Yet another Scandinavian Spring

April 6, 2016 at 10:30 am

We’ve had Grieg, we’ve had Sinding, and we’ve had their friend. Why not add Sibelius to the mix?


Day of Finnish Music

December 8, 2015 at 11:00 am

I don’t know much about Finland – mainly I just know they have weird spellllinnggs and llöts öf döts ïn thëïr wörrdds.

What I do know is that they love and revere their most famous composer, Jean Sibelius, so far as to making his birthday (today, December 8th) a national holiday, the “Day of Finnish Music”. And to top that, his face used to be on their currency (before they adopted the Euro). Not too shabby for a musician …

Sibelius would have been 150 years old today, if he hadn’t sadly died at the too-young age of 91. The natural thing would be to play his most famous work, Finlandia, but it’s Tuesday and I don’t want to get worked up this early in the week. Instead, here’s a delightfully melancholy work based on Finnish mythology, The Swan of Tuonela.