Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

A Warning from Above

Donald Macleod considers the effect of poverty and ill-health on Sibelius's music.

Years of heavy drinking had taken a toll on the health of Sibelius, to the extent that at the age of only 39, he had tremors in his hands. He was persuaded to move out of the city to a house in the countryside. But word had got around that he was in poor health and people who had funded him in the past turned their backs. Donald Macleod explores the music composed by Sibelius in this period, when, with health problems becoming more acute, the composer receives a "warning from above".

58 minutes

Music Played

  • Jean Sibelius

    Valse Triste

    Performer; Hallé Orchestra Performer: John Barbirolli

    • EMI 7 69205 2.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Pohjola's Daughter

    Performer: New York Philharmonic Performer: Leonard Bernstein

    • CBS 44720.
  • Jean Sibelius

    Night Ride and Sunrise

    Performer: Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra Performer: Neeme Järvi

  • Jean Sibelius

    Symphony no 4 - Mvts 1 & 2

    Performer: New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Performer: Pietari Inkinen

    • Naxos 8.572227.

Broadcast

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

The production team reflects on 5 of Donald Macleod’s best stories from the last 20 years

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.