The musical reputation of the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865–1957)—deified in the Twenties and Thirties by conductors and public alike, declining markedly in the Forties, and hitting a very deep bottom from the Fifties on—has taken another turn. His shares are up. There is now once more a Sibelius Question. No such thing as a Stravinsky Question or even a Schoenberg Question troubles the sleep of music critics: their respective reputations are secure for the time being.

The renewed controversy about the musical viability and the simple quality of Sibelius’s music was the subject of a series of performances and a symposium in December at Avery Fisher Hall titled “Northern Lights: The Music of Jean Sibelius.” Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony performed three concerts of five of the seven symphonies of the Finnish master, plus a few tone poems and some songs for soprano and ...

 
Popular Right Now