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Lost Sibelius piano piece to receive premiere in Brighton

It’s not another fragment of the 8th symphony, but still interesting. The manuscript was found at Harvard University Library and thought to be the accompaniment to a missing song. Apparently not: it’s a piano piece all on its own. It will be premiered by Folke Gräsbeck in a Brighton recital on February 22. No more details are yet to hand.


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  1. From his discography, including his recordings on Qualiton, it looks like Folke Gräsbeck is a specialist in Sibelius piano music.

  2. John Warburton says:

    Here’s a little more information, copied straight from and a couple of other sources.

    The piece is an Andantino in D major, written in 1889 for the newly-born daughter of a close friend. Already, it has been recorded for Bis records, and will be released in the spring (when it comes).

    The concert will also feature Satu Jalas, Sibelius’s grand-daughter, who is a violinist.

    Andrew Barnett, chairman of the UK Sibelius Society, comments, in the page above, “Nobody is more attuned to Sibelius’s sound world than Satu Jalas and Folke Gräsbeck, who have performed together on numerous occasions; their interpretations have a very real authority, and Satu’s performances of the violin works enjoy the imprimatur of the composer. Moreover, this concert is a landmark event because nowadays it is exceedingly rare to come across a work by Sibelius that has yet not been performed in public, anywhere in the world. In January, Folke Gräsbeck recorded the piece for the Swedish label BIS [for release this spring: BIS-2065] and this concert can be seen as a follow-up to the recording sessions.”

  3. John Warburton says:

    A fuller commentary on the piece, and the programme as a whole (which contains at least one other curiosity), is here:

    The pianist writes: “They were not lost, only strangely neglected because of their “home” deep in the archives of Harvard University… The credit for “re-finding” these items goes to Pekka Helasvuo (editor of the string orchestra music in Breitkopf & Härtel’s JSW critical edition of Sibelius’s complete works)… The Andantino is strange in that it seems to have been planned to have a solo violin part, but not a single note is indicated on the line of the violin or soprano or whatever was meant. However, the “piano part”, as it now is written, sounds like completed piano music: the melodies are all there, i.e. this is not an accompaniment with a missing melody.”

    The concert date appears to be 21st February, which differs from the Finnish-language article quoted earlier today.

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