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About Sibelius’ early chamber music, from Pekka Helasvuo (Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki)

on .

 Practically all of Jean Sibelius’ early chamber music is now available on CD (the Sibelius Edition volumes 2 and 9 on BIS-records). On the records are some fragments, sketches and pieces of little interest for people besides those working with musicological activities. However, in the Critical Edition of Jean Sibelius' Works published by Breitkopf & Härtel, no volumes of chamber music have yet been published, and the whole project is expected to last still many years. The most important and interesting chamber works among those composed mainly between 1888 and 1890 are the Quartets in B flat Major op. 4 (1889–90) and my favorite: A-minor JS 183 (1889) [both published by Edition Fazer/Warner bros. Company]. A very fine work is the Piano Quintet JS 159 in G-Minor (1890) [Wilhelm Hansen, Copenhagen]. Edition Fazer/Warner has published also the String Quartet E flat Major (1885), two String Trios, A-Major (1889) and G-Minor (1893–94) plus a Piano Quartet in C-Minor (1891). The composer seems to have been rather productive on the field of chamber music at that time.

The style in Sibelius' early chamber music differs quite a lot from his later music. There are still very personal features which were not quite common at that time, especially in his treatment of harmony and form. 

The works published by Edition Fazer/Warner bros. Company are today available from:

Fennica Gehrman,

PO Box 158, FIN 00121 Helsinki Finland

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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