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Jean Sibelius Hardcover – July 11, 1978

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Hardcover, July 11, 1978

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Editorial Reviews


?Not only a fascinating account...but a penetrating analysis of the problems of the creative artist in coming to grips with his own way.'...Mr. Johnson's two years of meticulous research have proven most rewarding. His Jean Sibelius is a distinguished biography.?-Saturday Review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (July 11, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313204705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313204708
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,627,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By John S. Hilliard on May 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Yes, this book dates from the 1950's. But anyone who is seriously interested in the music of this unique composer cannot truly do better than Harold E. Johnson's book. Despite several recent books in English on Sibelius by David Hurwitz, Glenda Goss, Andrew Barnett, and Daniel Grimly, for me, Johnson still may be the best that is available. The positive aspects of Johnson's book is his fairness and his barely praiseworthy ability to stay on the topic at hand. I say "barely praiseworthy" because for some reason almost all the English biographies of this extremely important composer get off the topic of his life and work very frequently. Goss's book, which is the most imposing tome of most recent date deals mostly with the history of Finland during the years of the composer's life span, rather than focusing on his work. And the other authors get distracted in other directions, in equal measure. When Goss finally decides to include Sibelius in her discussion, it is filled with so much "warm and fuzzy" flowered descriptions that the true technical aspects, which really create the unique music, are either only obliquely mentioned or totally overlooked.

The best analysis of his symphonies can yet be found in James Hepokoski's (notably the 5th) and Lionel Pike's books.

But, we still need, after more than a half century of his death, a good, informative, non-biased, biography in English of this great composer.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent personal experience by a former much loved professor!
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