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“Cold Shivers Seem Spine”: Are These Sketches of Sibelius’s Eighth Symphony?

Why did you have to burn your symphony, Jean?

Sketches for an untitled orchestral work dating from the time Sibelius was writing his Eighth Symphony

Big news from Finland: Sketches of what appear to be Sibelius’s Eighth Symphony (long thought destroyed by Sibelius) have emerged. Here’s a clunky Google translation of the Finnish web site announcing this incredible discovery, along with an orchestral reading of those sketches. At the original Finnish link, you can access a video and hear the realization of the sketches. Those of you who don’t speak Finnish will want to jump ahead to ca. 2:00, where the music actually begins. Yes, it sounds like Sibelius, but a more chromatic and fragmented Sibelius than we’re accustomed to.

A more comfortably written article on the discovery and the musicology supporting the claim can be found here.

And a great big Thank You to Sibelius booster Alex Ross, who hipped me to this at his web site.

Comments

Comment from Vesa Sirén
Time: November 16, 2011, 4:08 pm

Thank you for showing how Google translates my article’s short Finnish online version from http://www.hs.fi/kulttuuri. “Cold shivers seem spine” – now why didn’t I think about that headline:-)

Many thanks also for linking the official translation from Helsingin Sanomat International Edition. It is translated from from my original article, the longer version, that appeared in the printed newspaper.

With best wishes

Vesa Sirén
Journalist