Critical editions of Dance Intermezzos and Pohjola’s Daughter available in the collected works of Jean Sibelius

Date published

Five orchestral works composed in the years 1904–1910 are available in the series of collected works of Jean Sibelius: The Dryad (Op. 45 No. 1), Musik zu einer Szene (Op. 45 No. 2/1904), Dance Intermezzo (Op. 45 No. 2), Pohjola’s Daughter (Op. 49), and Pan and Echo (Op. 53a). Musik zu einer Szene appears in print for the first time. In addition, the volume includes a previously unpublished version of Dance Intermezzo (entitled “Tanz-Intermezzo No. 1”) as an appendix and the manuscript of an uncompleted preliminary version of Pohjola’s Daughter, a planned work called Luonnotar, as a facsimile. The volume is edited by Timo Virtanen. It is the 36th volume in the complete works series.

Sibeliuksen nuottikirjoitusta.

The first manuscript page of the uncompleted orchestral work Luonnotar.

Sibelius composed Musik zu einer Szene (1904) and Pan and Echo (1906) as music for dance performances arranged for charity occasions. He reworked Musik zu einer Szene for concert purposes and published it later as Dance Intermezzo. The birth of The Dryad appears to have connection with an unrealized ballet, “The Sacrifice,” which the Canadian dancer Maud Allan commissioned from Sibelius. Soon after The Dryad was premiered, Allan used the music in her dance performance in London. Sibelius clearly considered these works as belonging to one and the same group of works, as he subtitled Pan and EchoDance Intermezzo No. 3” and he also called The Dryad as “dance Intermezzo” in his diary.

Sibelius wrote the first sketches for the musical material that eventually appeared in the “Symphonic Fantasy” Pohjola’s Daughter in 1901. The work was completed after numerous sidesteps five years later. The musical ideas that appeared in the work crisscrossed through several composition plans, among others the unrealized oratorio “Marjatta” and an orchestral work Luonnotar. Giving a name to the finally completed work was also complicated; of Sibelius’s propositions for the title, neither Väinämöinen nor L’aventure d’un héros was accepted by the German publisher.

“The uncompleted manuscript score of ‘Luonnotar’ from early summer of 1906 included in the volume reveals that Sibelius removed material from the work of which he was already making a fair copy to the Third Symphony, completed a year later, and to the second movement, Minnelied, of the orchestral suite Scènes historiques II, which appeared in 1912,” explains the editor Timo Virtanen. “Pohjola’s Daughter represents a highly interesting ‘crossroad’ in Sibelius’s production; the musical materials that appear in the work or which were taken away from it in the compositional process are related to several other works from the years 1904–1912.”

Sibelius’s collected works are published in cooperation by The National Library of Finland, The Sibelius Society of Finland, and publishers Breitkopf & Härtel (Wiesbaden).

Work on the complete critical edition Jean Sibelius Works began in 1996. The project aims to publish Sibelius's oeuvre in its entirety, 60 volumes. The edition is based on a thorough study of all surviving sources. It is intended both for scholarly use and performance. More information on project's webpage.

Contact person

Timo Virtanen
Senior Researcher
Research Library
+358 2941 24085