For no good reason, recently I started listening through all the Sibelius symphonies I have (4 through 7, Karajan/Berlin, which I got for a great deal!). I just thought one day, hey, this Sibelius guy is pretty well regarded, and there was a chapter about him in “The Rest is Noise” (which is a REALLY damn good book. If you haven’t read it, you really should!), so I should get to know his music better. So I did. That was a great call on my part, because his music is sick. From the dark, mezzo-forte ending fourth, to the swan call in the fifth, to the dorian inflections of the sixth, to the absolute mastery of the seventh, I was gripped. He definitely has a place among the great 20th century symphonists (Shostakovich, and Vaughan Williams are my big two). The bottom line here is, I’m getting more recordings of his symphonies (recommendations anyone?)
But also I noticed that his birthday was coming up, so I figured I might as well blog about it, also since I haven’t written here in a while. So Happy 148th Birthday to Mr. Sibelius, master composer and namesake to the music notation software (which plays his music at the start up)!