Ever since I listened to his second symphony, I have always been inspired by the famous Finish composer, Jean Sibelius. He lived during the late romantic era and into the early modern era (don’t get me wrong; the romantic era was just a certain time period, just like the modern time period). His symphonic works are so beautiful. You may have heard his famous piece Finlandia. No? Have you heard Be still my soul? The music is taken from Finlandia (we only sing a small section of this piece, though).
You may be wondering why I’m boring you with this composer that I like. Well, as one of my favorites, you’ll probably hear me speak of him now and then. I even have a quote by him in the sidebar. Also, as a favorite, I wanted to know if he was a Christian, but it was so hard to figure out. To give you an idea of how hard it is to research it, one of his middle names is Christian, his dad’s name was Christian, one of his brother’s name was Christian, and he wrote pieces with he word ‘Christian’ in it. So when I search using the keyword ‘Christian’ I never found out if he was one. But I just recently discovered more about him, and I’d like to make a few things clear, so when you hear me talking about him, you don’t get the wrong impression, one way, or the other.
In the quote I have in the sidebar of this website, he seems to have a wonderful worldview. The strange thing is that he wasn’t actually a Christian, but he claimed Christianity as the religion of his fathers. Now, I still don’t know what ‘Christian’ means in his eyes. It could mean Catholic, or it could mean Protestant; I don’t know. So, the quote was good, and his presuppositions of God are there, but I don’t know exactly what he meant by it.
So, I like Sibelius’ music, and some of his quotes, but he was not a Christian. His music inspired the Finish people to drive the Russians (who had invaded their land) out of their country. And he played a big roll in the independence of Finland.
This post doesn’t appear to have much to do with my own music, but really, it does. Any composer’s music is going to be influenced by the composer they like best, whether that is someone from history, or even themselves (as was the case with Liszt). Most of Sibelius’ smaller pieces didn’t sound really good, like his symphonic works, and a few other pieces did. So my smaller pieces are not inspired by him, but other people (e.g. for piano compositions I’m inspired by Rachmaninoff a lot, and I also like Chopin’s music greatly). I have only composed one symphony so far, which I need to edit before making it public, but I hope that it will sound similar to Sibelius’ symphonies. Whether it sounds like them or not, it was still inspired by him, and listening to his second symphony is what made me want to compose… really.
Anyway, I hope I didn’t bore you too much with this post. It was mostly music history, and as of now, I plan to post a few more blogs about music history, and other things that aren’t directly related to my own music. But I’ll mostly post new blogs related to my compositions/arrangements. Hope you enjoyed this!