7th Symphony (Sibelius)

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The 7th Symphony in C major , op. 105 is the last completed and preserved symphony and one of the last orchestral works by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius . The work was premiered on March 24, 1924 in Stockholm by the local Philharmonic Orchestra under Sibelius' direction. The performance lasts approx. 22 minutes.


Form, characteristics and history of composition

The symphony is formally extraordinary, as it consists of only one movement instead of the usual four. However, this conception was not at the beginning of the composition: Originally four movements were planned, which can be seen in the sequence of calm opening and closing sections with a quick middle section and scherzo in between in the final version. A similar resolution of the usual formal scheme can also be found in symphonies by contemporary Gustav Mahler .

The first drafts of the symphony date from 1918; it was completed in Ainola until 1924 . The original title “Phantasia Sinfonica” was later changed to “Sinfonie” by Sibelius in order to emphasize the difference to his one-movement symphonic poems.

Sibelius developed the beginning of the symphony from a theme in the tone poem Kuutar (“Female Moon Spirit”), which he described in sketches as “ Tähtölä ” (“Where the stars glow”).

To the music

Section 1, T. 1-92

Tempo heading: Adagio

The symphony begins with a soft bang ( timp. ) On the dominant G. This first note is of great importance for the rest of the event in two respects:

On the one hand, this beginning is absolutely meaningless in terms of harmony and motifs, so a tonal reference is still missing. From a harmonic point of view, the 7th Symphony is arguably the composer's most revolutionary work. In this work Sibelius dissolves tonal structures in an experimental way. The indecision at the beginning is the prerequisite for the entire progression of the first section. Only the climax will ensure harmonious security by consolidating the tonic C. The juxtaposition of tonality and atonality as well as the use of church modes (modes) make up a large part of the individuality of the work.

Bars 1–3

On the other hand, the initial bang is also metric impulse . The "heavy" one is underlined by the two suggestions and the accent. Now the music does not proceed according to the “difficult-easy” principle; the metric experience is with the use of syncopation shifted double basses disturbed. This theme is a simple, ascending scale motif which - one expects C major - changes the tonal relationship by altering the major third e to it and leads to a dissonant sound above the (also deeply altered) sixth a flat . Because a motif as simple as an ascending scale opens the symphony, the gaze turns away from the melodic. In fact, it is not the melody that is decisive, but two other things: the resolution of the major-minor tonality (achieved, among other things, by alteration ) and the use of syncopation , which is extremely characteristic of the composition. Nevertheless, remotely melodic, the idea of ​​the scale remains important in the further course (especially in the “Vivace” ​​part of the second section), even if not primarily.

The scale motif erupts into the dissonant sound mentioned above, which piles up over a flat. The third before it is resolved to e with unstressed beat. However, there is no relaxation. Meanwhile, further dissonances arise in the strings, horns and the 1st bassoon. The resolution to F major is quickly clouded again and is also still on "worse", i.e. H. unstressed beat . The divided strings , which make this harmonic activity and movement density possible, and the harmonic indecision of this passage create a blurred sound. It is interesting that in bar 3 the bassoon is again syncopated, i. H. starts on unstressed beat. This also contributes to the blurred sound. The bassoon , which is the main part here, belatedly resolves the horns . The high and low woodwinds complement each other rhythmically in bar 3. This complementary rhythm is divided into bassoon and strings in bar 4 and bar 5. Rhythmically, the passage 3–7 continues what was indicated in the syncopated scale of the double basses. A precise, clearly understandable beginning is avoided rhythmically as well as harmonically.

So at the beginning of Sibelius' 7th Symphony there is a fully composed creative process. However, it is not the birth of a theme like Anton Bruckner's , but a varied continuation of the most important aspects of the beginning (harmonic-metric indecision). It is astonishing how much has already been said in these first seven bars about the further course and the means of its design.

Sibelius now places the first real motif of the symphony in this atmosphere. Here, too, syncopation and complementary rhythm prevail. The Nordic tone is preserved by another compositional means, which will also be of great importance in the further course: The use of modes (church modes), here explicitly the Doric mode . This arabesque-like, light and playful motif sounds strange the first time it is heard to ears who are not used to old church music or northern European folk music. The veiling effect is thus continued in this episode, although there is now a clear harmonic foundation above organ point C, which now also wanders through the instruments in a complementary rhythm. The first goal of the first section, however, is not until bar 22, where the “classical” major-minor system prevails again.

Bars 11/12

In bar 11/12 a motif particle announces itself in the first violins , which is important for the large-scale chorale episode (from bar 22).

The theme of bar 7 is the aim of the short introduction (bars 1–7) and has little momentum of its own. For this reason it only returns once more as a reassurance before the coda (with score letter Ö). So there is still no main theme; we are in a state where the motifs must first be sorted or divided into their individual aspects. They are mutually dependent and are combined with one another.

The whole thing leads to a short climax episode, which is laid out in two parts (1st part: bar 14-17, 2nd part: bar 18-21). The "transition" to the two parts is the same both times. It is a variant of the scale that opened the symphony and appears here in Krebs and syncopated. An increasingly dense network of variants and references is drawn up.

With the introduction of the new theme, the music gets going for the first time: The openwork work in woodwinds and strings, which increases chromatically , leads to the second part, which again provides relaxation and finally leads to the broad chorale . Basically, we already know the "new" theme from the opening scale of the strings. Here it was rhythmized (in the strings) and its direction of movement was also changed (in the oboes ). The bassoons play in countermovement to the oboes and their bass line is taken over by the cellos in the middle of the bar and led down again. The reverse happens in the violins. So each pitch of the strings continues the line of the same pitch of the woodwind in a different direction. This complementary complementation draws its logic from the related technique of complementary rhythm.

Another component is hidden in this passage, which is formative for the course: the hint of a polyphony , which points to the chorale. The polyphony of the old masters was rediscovered by many composers at this time. Sibelius can be seen as a mediator between the epochs in the use of the church modes and polyphonic networks. Experimental form is thus combined with an awareness of tradition.

Bars 22–31

In bar 22 a first goal is reached with the entry of the chorale theme in the multiple strings. There is now a clear, unclouded C major. The now beginning increase seems a bit antiquated, which happens on the one hand through the restored unity of rhythm, harmony and melody, on the other hand v. a. through the environment in which it stands. This goal is at the same time relaxation and the increase occurs quite imperceptibly from the intimate cantability of the topic. At the time Sibelius wrote the Seventh Symphony, there was something like a curse on the key of C major . Ralph Vaughan Williams said: “Today only Sibelius or God can write in C major.” In fact, the lightening of the passage makes it look like a kind of hierophany ; as if the initial fog had finally lifted.

The string chorale that now begins is a polyphonic masterpiece. He is limited to a few rhythmic patterns. A main melody is difficult to make out; rather, the voices complement each other to form an increasingly dense tissue. This is achieved by dividing the strings. In addition, a larger ambitus can be covered. The melody could tend to flow indefinitely. From bar 31 onwards, the action condenses for the first time when the violins approach. In bar 33 the violins are also divided into two groups and thus the greatest density of movements in this episode is achieved. Letter B (bar 36) now brings a gradual increase (poco a poco meno p); in bar 45 the horns and bassoons are added, later all the wood. A climax seems to be imminent and its task should be to finally reveal the main theme, the core of the symphony.

Such chorales and hymn-like themes are found innumerable times in Sibelius, v. a. in the final movements of his symphonies (one should remember the drawn-out final increase in the 2nd symphony). Here, however, such a topic appears in the first section. Sibelius has given up his concept of long finals, the themes of which were often built into the movement from sketches (cf. the origin of the final movement of the 3rd symphony), in favor of other tasks. The chorale is the goal of the initial search, but at the same time preparation for the climax. So the meaning is different (reference function). As already stated in passage bar 14-21, the individual episodes within the large sections draw their logic from the preceding or prepare for the following. Without the environment, Sibelius would not have been able to build up such a dense network of references, and the individual motifs would be pointless. The chorale as a middle section and reference gives the first section a remarkable cohesion, which contemporaries already described as "extremely successful".

While the chorale theme is now carried over to the horns or high woodwinds, the strings with the syncopated scale motif come in. It is now strongly colored chromatically, but blends in with the overall course thanks to the supportive bass response (based entirely on C major). These two bars, which are inserted, cause the energy that emanates from the chorale to accumulate, with the effect that the climax becomes even clearer. In a sense, it is indicated that the symphony's core will soon be reached. The last increase sums up the achievements of the first section (now consolidated harmonics / metrics, again hidden complementary rhythm), only to culminate tremendously. The chorale theme merges at the climax of the first section with the trombone theme, which is the core of the symphony.

Sibelius sketched this core theme with Aino , his wife's first name. To speak of a hidden declaration of love does not seem entirely absurd in view of the conditions in which the Sibelius couple found themselves at the time the symphony was written: The marriage became increasingly difficult as Sibelius became more and more addicted to alcohol . In 1923, a year before the 7th was completed, the composer broke off a concert that he was conducting himself in the middle of it, believing he was in a rehearsal. It turned out that before the concert he had drunk too much to calm the tremors in his hands. The "Aino" theme recurs practically unchanged in every section. It all boils down to the trumpet theme with the conclusive character.

The climax gradually fades away and complementary rhythms in the brass lead into the coda , the beginning of which is heralded metrically by the bang. This closes the circle of the first section.

The coda itself is a variant of the chorale theme , which now appears to be many times darkened, on the one hand because of the low register of the flute , which leads the melody, and on the other hand because of the dark tremoli of the strings. In m. 80/81 the melody almost dies, but is picked up again by the strings and passed on to the winds. The action returns to the gloomy atmosphere of the beginning, the scale motif is heard shortly before the head of motif a) (from bar 7/8) introduces the second section.

In this first section, the atmosphere of the work as well as the main design means and structures were shown. Finally, a summary of the most important aspects:

Tact motive Meaning and characteristics
T. 1-2 Scale motif The idea of ​​the scales is retained, metric / harmonic uncertainty (fog impression)
T. 3-7 - Idea of ​​complementary rhythm, amplification of the veiled sound
T. 7-12 a) Church tonality creates typically “Nordic” sound
T. 14-22 b) (variant of the scale motif) A woven cover is drawn up, openwork work and chromaticism as the main design element
T. 22-59 c) (chorale theme) 1. Goal (harmoniously secured), metrically clear, polyphony as a feature (indicates neoclassicism), lightening
T. 60 ff. d) ("Aino" theme) Core idea of ​​the symphony and 1st climax
T. 71 c ') Coda and reassurance, polyphony taken up again, reference function
T. 90 Scale motif The idea of ​​the scales is taken up again (important in the further course)
T. 92 a) Transition function, reference and conclusion (no longer important in the course of the symphony)

Section 2, T. 93-257

Tempo headings: un pochettino meno adagio - poco affrettando - Vivacissimo - rallentando - Adagio - poco meno lento

In the second section the music is really set in motion. It is also more inconsistent in terms of tempo. In general, the musical logic obeys different laws here than in the first part: If the finding of a thematic core or the exposure of the compositional techniques was still an immediate compositional idea, the second section necessarily builds on it. He again questions the techniques of the first section and continues them in various ways. Nevertheless, one cannot speak of an implementation , as the second section seems far too independent. This theory of implementation can also be refuted with the appearance that the second section has too much of its own, i. e. brings new, thematic material, which only the third section can "smooth". This is related to the final conception of the work. After all, it is u. a. One of the (main) tasks of the second section is to carry out the wave of growth that will ultimately lead to the apotheosis .

This second section appears formally easier to grasp than the first, in which precisely this flow between the formal boundaries was important; in the second section, on the other hand, a clear three-part structure can be found (mainly due to the different tempos the episodes are set apart from one another): A (T. 93–133), B (T. 134–155), C (T. 156–257).

Part A of the second section appears with a clear incision. An episode in C minor, again dominated by complementary rhythm, develops from the Doric motif m. 92 . The melody carriers here are the oboes or violins with clarinets. This form of openwork , as we already know from the first part (bar 14 ff.), Gains in importance in part A: It is a prerequisite for the splitting off and the associated technique of developing variation . This process can be indirectly related to the wave of increase, which is mainly obtained from the separation of the motifs. Apart from that, bars 93–97 do not bring anything new, only confirmation of the most important elements of the first section: here as there, themes of church tones (predominantly in the Doric mode ), complementary rhythms and motifs based on scales. All of this and the fact that the syncopations are now more pronounced than ever (due to the larger number of instruments involved) clearly point to the beginning of the symphony. One would therefore expect an episode similar to the implementation here, but the concept consists precisely in deviating from the norm: in retrospect, progress reveals itself, as if Sibelius wanted to clarify where he derives the legitimation for such developments as we have just seen in the second section can watch, takes.

In m. 98 the phrase ending (clearly emphasized because of the openwork) is changed. It heralds a new motif, which brings another major aspect into play: the achievement of grotesque effects, if z. B. the timpani takes over this (T. 112 f.). This will be important in the third section.

Immediately following this dance motif, the strings bring the falling scale motif, which is now perceived more strongly than before as a melodic particle. It is diminished and “poco affretando” leads to the first small climax and at the same time the end of the first “stanza” of the A section (bar 106). The music calms down again and the "Aino" theme from the climax of the first section appears briefly again in the horns.

Now follows a kind of second “stanza” in which the new conclusion (mm. 98 f.) Is combined with the scale motif. The “floating” impression created by the syncopated accompaniment can be heard more strongly here; Furthermore, there is no longer a complementary rhythm here.

As a direct consequence of the diminution of the scale motif, the violins move upward, which in m. 115 ends in arabesque-like play around the scale motif in the woodwinds. One can observe here, step by step, on the basis of these individual "stanzas", in which way the composer breaks down the main theme of the second section (i.e. mm. 94–96).

Bars 131–137 with a change from 3/2 to 6/4 time

The transition to the third stanza is also the same as before: a rising line in the flutes leads directly into the (varied) main theme. This third stanza is absolutely identical to the structure of the previous one, but its task is different from the previous ones: the gradual acceleration already introduces the tempo of the episode that follows (from m. 134 a dotted half corresponds to a half of the A section , ie the speed was increased by a factor of 1.5).

The compositional simplicity of this passage, mm. 93–133, does not allow one to ignore the fact that one is basically dealing with something “irrelevant”; So it is the actual function of this episode to prepare the B part, which in turn also contains a transition function. There is therefore a gradual increase in the entire second section. It has a mediating function between the first and third section.

If one regards the second section as a three-part form, then B has the function of the referring middle part. However, it does not merely refer to the level of the second section; rather, the motif is extracted from A (mm. 93 ff.) and processed further. With the change of time, the dance style already mentioned comes to the fore. No matter how clear the break in front of this molded part may be: Basically we already know everything, the motif is a variant of bar 93. We encounter dance again in the third section (bar 258 ff.). The entire B-part is made up of six phrases in which the strings and woodwinds face each other in a quasi “responsor” manner. The strings start the second phrase a minor third higher and stay on it in the third phrase, albeit with a different rhythm. This rhythm can already be found at the beginning of the episode in the “accompanying voices”. Such an ostinate figure now pervades the further events; it becomes the main component of the C part. In the coda it will ultimately be thematic, while here only a transition to “vivacissimo” is built. The playfulness is lost and a further “search phase” takes up space.

B does not bring anything new, but illuminates the original motif of the scales anew. Its reference function reveals the ambiguity of the B part: it prepares both C and it also points to the third section. You can see that the accompaniment also plays an important role: it creates the forward-pressing mood and from it the transition to C (mm. 156–275) develops.

The C section that follows is also made up of three parts: a (Vivacissimo, T. 156–219), b (increase, adagion, T. 220–241), c (climax, T. 242–257). So he completes the increase in stages, which will then bring about the climax of the second section.

a) immediately follows the previous section B (bars 134–155), but is at the same time more agitated and more pressing. This acceleration of the pace is a consequence of the increase beforehand, but not yet your real goal. Everything dissolves in a rhythmic-linear game. Again, the openwork work between strings and woodwind dominates. The repetition of the same thing creates great tension - the preparation for b) has been created. This increase comes from a. dynamically created by the successive "switching on and off" of the brass apparatus. The timpani are used as a kind of melody instrument; however, it remains with its actual task of marking the end of phrases (T. 207/208).

The whole thing ends in a tonally unbound, flowing movement that remains as an accompanying element in C. The tempo slows down and with the change to 3/2 we have reached b).

With the introduction of the “Aino” theme, m. 221, a central turning point takes place within the composition: the events break away from the grotesque in order to intensify more dramatically than ever before. Gradually, the compositional techniques of the first section (especially complementary rhythm) are reintroduced: the general dynamic increase finds its equivalent in the condensing polyphonic structure, which is closely linked to the complementary rhythm. From m. 228/229 onwards, the action intensifies with the addition of horns, which support the conclusion of the topic. They already refer indirectly to bar 237, in which the conclusion as a variant of motif e) will assume a central position.

The mood of episode b) is depressed and extremely dramatic; should it bring about the climax. Sibelius cleverly evokes associations when he brings the "Aino" theme in minor: it seems as if fate has turned against him; he faces great distress with fear. So it is just a "questioning" of good and bad. The ascending and descending scales do the rest: They reinforce the dramatic aspect, but at the same time this “accompaniment” also has a symbolic component: ascending scales for the good / beautiful; descending scales for the artist's inner need and emptiness. The scales clearly stand for Sibelius himself, who saw himself as a “simple and nature-loving person”. The violinist Yehudi Menuhin even reports that the composer was totally merged with his environment:

“You could no longer distinguish between tree and human. He himself towered so primordially in the area, as if he were one of them himself. "

In the score letter M (bar 235) the complementary rhythm is finally reintroduced and the last step in the increase is thus accomplished. The horns scream twice a variant of the “Aino” ending beyond the orchestra (bar 237 and bar 239) - a tremendous cry for help. The violins vary this and rise to the climax (mm. 242 ff.).

This consists of the downward (!) Scale motif. Spreading broadly in the strings, an emotional low point is reached. Sibelius does not, however, prolong the climax, but at the same time assigns it a transition function: the third section will open with a dance theme and so the music turns back to it. Already in bar 244 a motif is played around in openwork work, which will be important in the third section (bar 323 ff.). Staccato scales in the strings alternate with the varied motif a) in the woodwinds (now turned back into the grotesque). Finally, such a scaling leads seamlessly into the third section with the “Hellenic Rondo”.

The second section thus continued the compositional techniques given in the first, but fulfills a different function: It is to be regarded as a long climaxing episode in which a sentimental turning point occurs. The element of the dance-like and grotesquely distorted is added. The section is formally more uniform; There is a clear tripartite structure, both on a large and on a small scale. He gets by with less thematic material, which leads to a certain static, the basic requirement for the increase. Nevertheless, the second section is to be understood as a forward-pressing element in the formation of the work. Linear relationships of polyphony become more important the longer. It is related to the final conception of the work that the third section connects the two preceding ones with one another, in order to then flow into the climax of the sentence as “Conclusio ultima”.

Section 3, T. 258-526

Tempo headings: Allegro molto moderato - meno moderato - dolce e poco a poco più - Vivace - Presto - poco a poco rallentando - Adagio - Largamente - Affetuoso - Tempo I

The structure of the last section is comparable to that of the previous one: Again, there is a clear three-way division, which is extremely formative for the work as a whole. This close connection with the second section emphasizes the special status of the loosely joined first section. So the contrast between this and the second section is greatest; Both show different compositional techniques and naturally fulfill different functions within the work. The third section now uses the structures of both molded parts and connects them. There is a step-by-step return to the beginning, as the musical events gradually break away from the second section, only to intensify enormously with the trombone theme and culminate in an emotional outburst typical of Jean Sibelius (T. 496/497). In order to achieve this, Sibelius makes use of the incredibly dense network of references that he has built up beforehand, without which this coherence of the work would not be guaranteed.

The second section is followed directly by the introduction to the first part of the third section. Sibelius referred to this part in sketches as the “Hellenic Rondo ”. And in fact, rondo-like structures predominate here, because it is precisely in the choice of this form that the solution to the form problem is revealed. The rondo shape makes it possible to combine the individual motifs anew and to connect them with a couplet . An important prerequisite for the third section in general is therefore given. The introduction to the actual rondo comprises the 27 bars from m. 258–284. It is structured in two parts: a) comprises bars 258-265, consists essentially of sequences that are responsively contrasted in strings and woodwinds, and in bar 262 brings the motif that forms the form for the couplet. The timpani supports this in turn (as a kind of "melody instrument"). The horns conclude with an upward triad sequence, which is listened to from the first climax (trumpet at m. 65). Triad melodies will continue to be important in the third section and we can find them in various forms. The later couplet motif is also based on triads. b) encompasses bars 266–284 and is strongly reminiscent of the wonderful string chorale from m. 22 ff. This introduction already contains a lot that is important for the course of the rondo: a) clearly reminds of the second section (immediate connection , "Dance-like" basic character as well as openwork work), while b) connects both large forms (sentimental / motivic orientated towards chorale, but nevertheless also characterized by openwork work and with a dance-like character). In m. 274 the accompanying figure of the rondo announces itself for the first time in the strings. It creates a “shimmering” impression ( tremolo ) and rhythmically animates the action.

The actual rondo begins in bar 285 with the marked bang (compare with the beginning of the symphony !!!), which is followed by the couplet in flutes and oboes (beginning shortened by half a bar compared to bar 262). The violins are responsive with a secondary idea, which in turn is based entirely on triad melodies. The important figure in m. 294 develops out of it . The developing variation is therefore also of the greatest importance here. In m. 298 the oboes respond to the preceding clarinets with a melody that is closely related to the second section (m. 200 ff.). This time it is the divided cellos which briefly allude to the secondary idea in m. 306, and then flow into the couplet motif. The now beginning increase, which is based on the tremolating accompanying figure, leads over into the second part of the rondo. The cheeky melody in flutes and bassoon can best be related to the middle part of the second section (mm. 148 ff.) And at the end of this short increase appears extremely grotesque and confusing. So it is only in m. 321 that the actual goal of the development and at the same time the beginning of a whole wave of recollections of the end of the second section (m. 242 ff.) The return to the couplet is heralded in bar 333, in which the violins vary the secondary idea and shorten it more and more in broken work with the rest of the string section. We can also observe this type of transition in the modulation passage T. 371 ff. The second couplet (bar 344 ff.) Connects the couplet motif with the cheeky one from the middle section (flutes and bassoon, bar 317 ff). The suffix bar 360 ff. Is a variant of the secondary idea and leads over the above-mentioned modulation episode into the new key of E flat major . The couplet is repeated again (almost literally); only a variant of the dance theme of the second section (bar 200) is inserted. After a short stretch, the "cheeky" theme sets in again and the rondo breaks off in fortissimo and a clear turning point to the second part.

The middle part of the third section (“vivace”) that now begins prepares the “presto” rhythmically and sentimentally. Essentially it is made up of the scale motif, which in turn is passed back and forth in openwork between woodwinds and strings. The thematic rhythm of the “cheeky” theme (mm. 317 ff.) Is retained in the high woodwinds and the timpani. In terms of content, however, the whole passage refers back to the beginning. This is due to the logic of this fragment, as it is supposed to derive the “presto”, which will return to the origin. The turn back to C major is harmonious . The repetition (more precisely: the sequencing ) of individual motifs triggers a tension situation that culminates again shortly before the "presto" in the same form as we know from the second section or the rondo climax.

The “presto” can again be described in three parts, but one must not forget that it is precisely the disappearance between the individual molded parts that characterizes the composition.

The action remains on the dominant G. The small culmination of bar 447 was still virtually no solution to the tension. With the use of the horns, the whole thing gradually thickens. The music has a very urgent character, which comes about through the rigid accompaniment in quarters (performed by all strings and the kettledrum). Everything slows down imperceptibly and the entry of the solo trombone with the concise "Aino" theme triggers the final wave of tension.

Sibelius intensifies the tonal mass by adding more and more instruments. Again the energy accumulates when in m. 488 the dynamic is reduced to the mezzoforte . This last stage of the escalation is entirely syncopated. The chain of syncopations in the high strings crescents and winds its way up until finally a brutal bang announces the climax of the movement (“largamente”, bar 497). This string chorale is the same theme that brought about the climax of the first section (bar 54 ff.). The pace goes back even further and finally the extremely dramatic event calms down again. The coda (T. 509-526) rounds off the work appropriately. It begins with the "Aino" theme proclaiming peace, which lets the music breath into the piano to make way for the augmented theme a) that we know from the first section (T. 7/8 ff.). So we are finally back to the beginning and the indecision of the harmonic disposition there is now cleared up. A repeated, syncopated embossed huge gasp comes in to the sharp, leittönigen derivative savor duly "hc". The work fades away in the most brilliant C major of the entire orchestra. This definitely closes the circle at the beginning.

Voices for the 7th symphony

"Despite the limitations of its extent, it is the climax of his creative work and its music is a concentration of the essence of the other symphonies' best qualities."

“Despite its brevity, it is the culmination of his work. Their music is a concentration of the essence of the best qualities of his other symphonies. "

“The Seventh Symphony is something absolutely new and revolutionary in the history of the symphony. With the seventh and "tapiola" the era of the major-minor tonality came to an end - but how fantastic! "

- Veijo Murtomäki, musicologist

“The 7th forms a pair with the 6th, but this is not autobiographical. The ego has been neglected and things are seen from the standpoint of humanity. The composer turns his attention away from himself in order to reach higher powers. The seventh is sacred music. This piece is also very difficult to play. "

- Osmo Vänskä , conductor


  • Kalevi Aho : The symphonies of Jean Sibelius. In: Jean Sibelius, Tone Poet of the Finnish Forests. Metsäliitto / Metsä Group, Helsinki 1999, ISBN 952-90-9319-5 , pp. 51-73.
  • Joachim Bruges: Jean Sibelius, symphonies and symphonic poems. A foreman. CH Beck, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-58247-9 , pp. 97-101.
  • Peter Revers: "Music like clear, cold water". On symphonies 5–7 by Jean Sibelius. In: Hartmut Krones (ed.): Jean Sibelius and Vienna. Böhlau, Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-205-77141-9 , pp. 135–142 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  • Arnold Whittall: The later symphonies. In: Daniel M. Grimley: The Cambridge companion to Sibelius. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge et al. a. 2004, ISBN 0-521-81552-5 .
  • Jochem Wolff: Jean Sibelius. Symphony No. 7 in C major, op. 105. In: Wulf Konold (Ed.): Concert Guide Romanticism. 2nd Edition. Schott, Mainz 2007, ISBN 978-3-254-08388-3 , pp. 828-829.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Jochem Wolff: J. Sibelius: Symphony No. 7 in: Wulf Konold (Hrsg.): Konzertführer Romantik. Orchestral music from AZ. Schott, Mainz, 2007.
  2. ^ Simon Parmet: The Symphonies of Sibelius: A Study in Musical Appreciation. Translated by Kingsley A. Hart. Cassell, London 1959 ( limited preview in Google Book search).