Who cares about the wishes of a dead composer?
'I believe that the Eighth Symphony was not the only work which Sibelius destroyed... He spoke again and again about the unpublished works of his youth, with evident disquiet. He was oppressed by the though that after his death they would be taken out of their hiding place and made public'.Those are the words of Santeri Levas who was secretary to Sibelius from 1938 until the composer's death in 1957, which includes the period when he worked on the Eighth Symphony. The sketches which have recently surfaced may not be youthful works, but am I the only one to feel rather sad that the composer's explicit wishes are viewed as less important than the media opportunity offered by a playthrough of "the possible initial draft of the Eighth Symphony"? Will the next advance in Sibelius scholarship be to ignore the composer's wishes as expressed in the scores of his extant symphonies?
* The header photo of Sibelius at home was used in an earlier post about my visit to the composer's house at Järvenpää.
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