Robert Layton   Sibelius.
Schirmer Books, 247 pages, $30

Paul Griffiths   Stravinsky.
Schirmer Books, 253 pages, $30

reviewed by James F. Penrose

The lives and work of Jean Sibelius and Igor Stravinsky are studies in contrasting styles. Sibelius (1865–1957) was born in a land with an impoverished, if not lost, musical tradition, spoke Swedish as his mother tongue, lived in a country that was an autonomous duchy of the Tsarist empire, and looked to a German as his musical and personal model. Out of this patchwork, Sibelius created and sharply defined an entire Finnish school based on his profound identification with nature and a preoccupation with folklore and myth. By contrast, Stravinsky (1882– 1971) came from a rich musical heritage but turned against much of that background, creating or reinterpreting several musical styles ranging from primitivism to an...

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