Where Sibelius fell silent
December 13, 2011 10:40 AM   Subscribe

“Our souls are worn down through continuous contact with one another,” Sibelius wrote in his diary. And: “I am building a studio for myself—at least one. Next to me are all the children whose babbling and pranks ruin everything.” But he never did build himself a studio; instead, he relocated his study upstairs and forbade the noise of any instrument while he was in the house. The children had to wait until he had gone for his daily walk to do their music practice.

Julian Barnes, winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize, visits Sibelius's house for Intelligent Life. The magazine has also provided a guide to seeing performances of Sibelius's work in the UK this winter.
posted by smcg (16 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
My favorite symphonist.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:43 AM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

He is the one composer I will always associate with a sense of place. (I spent a couple of months in the small Finnish town of Saklya.)
posted by kozad at 10:50 AM on December 13, 2011

I keep saying this but his violin concerto is a marvel.
posted by Anything at 11:01 AM on December 13, 2011

Just a friendly nitpick -- I'm guessing you mean Säkylä?
posted by Anything at 11:26 AM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh crap. The above playlist leaves out the epic third movement.
posted by Anything at 11:28 AM on December 13, 2011

Säkylä. Yes. Diacritical marks are outside of my range of computer skills. In fact, I'd bet I know less about computers than 99% of MeFi members. I have a London Times mouse pad at home that tells me how to do them, but not here.
posted by kozad at 11:42 AM on December 13, 2011

Just a friendly nitpick -- I'm guessing you mean Säkylä?

Christ, whät än ässhole!
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:54 AM on December 13, 2011 [3 favorites]

The third movement of the violin concerto is the definitely the best heavy metal of 1905.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:32 PM on December 13, 2011

Gosh FWIW I didn't mention it because of the umlauts but I'll go hide in the corner now...
posted by Anything at 12:38 PM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've been in Ainola and the entire plot is quite majestic. But it was weird to not see a studio at all. The study/salon looked like the cosiest room in the house.

There's some ultra-Finnish about poking your head into Sibelius' sauna, which had this ingenious plumbing hack involving a well and the laundry room.
posted by myopicman at 12:51 PM on December 13, 2011


Love this article. I wore the groove out of my Sibelius Violin Concerto b/w the Swan of Tuonela (christ I hope I spelled that right) LP, but I know next to nothing about Sibelius himself.
posted by zomg at 1:11 PM on December 13, 2011

You are changing the letters to completely different, unrelated letters when umlauts are omitted.
posted by Jikido at 7:13 PM on December 13, 2011

Completely off topic - but those of us in foreign lands -may- not realize that US keyboards do not have all those characters commonly used in Europe - no umlauts or 'enyays' or slashes at all.

Those using keyboards -with- them are living in luxury. There are so many of them that we are loathe to have to open a special application to copy and paste each one into a sentence - let alone the time it takes to spot their locations in the inevitable cluttered, illogical lists they're presented in.

And so, for example, though Wikipedia tries to honor original spellings in its article titles, it always accepts the non-baroque English character equivalent if it exists. Because ... we have more to worry about.
posted by Twang at 7:46 PM on December 13, 2011

My favorite symphonist.

Mine too. Also, his quartets are fantastic: ALL OF THEM!
posted by elmono at 7:42 AM on December 14, 2011

I am from a foreign land called the USA and I keep those special letters in a document on my desktop for easy copy and paste.

= Off topic, definitely = And I apologize (apologise) for that!
posted by Jikido at 2:51 PM on December 14, 2011

BTW, I work for Schrödinger in Portland, Oregon :)
posted by Jikido at 2:56 PM on December 14, 2011

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