Valuable manuscript by Jean Sibelius acquired by the National Library of Finland
The National Library of Finland has obtained the manuscript to Jean Sibelius’s composition Herrens välsignelse JS 95 (The Lord's Blessing). The new manuscript provides a valuable addition to the library’s earlier collection of Jean Sibelius’s musical manuscripts, which was inducted into UNESCO’s national memory of the world-register in 2021.
Two other documents were acquired together with Sibelius’s autograph manuscript: a manuscript copy and a letter addressed to Sibelius on 8 January 1941, discussing Herrens välsignelse and the performing of the piece. Both are written by Anshelm Mikkonen, a clergyman and singer from Mäntsälä.
Herrens välsignelse was composed by Sibelius in 1925. There are two versions of the piece: a Swedish and a Finnish one, which differ not only linguistically but also musically. The Finnish manuscript (Herran siunaus) is already included in the National Library’s collection, but the newly acquired Swedish version has been privately owned for many decades. The manuscript for Herrens välsignelse is both a valuable piece of cultural heritage and an important source for research.