Finnish composer Jean Sibelius was born 150 years ago today (8th December 1865).
But who was Sibelius and what he has to do with James Bond? Or with Ernst Stavro Blofeld? Read further and find out!
Jean Sibelius born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius (8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957), was a Finnish composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. He is widely recognized as his country's greatest composer and, through his music, is often credited with having helped Finland to develop a national identity during its struggle for independence from Russia.
If it's true – alas! – it seems retroactively to confirm that old Teutonic criticism (in the pejorative sense) of Sibelius as a composer of "film music". Or it just means that chromaticism was a good, suspense-filling way to open a piece in 1904, just as it was in 1962 at the premiere of Dr No. The name's Bond, Jean Bond. Doesn't quite work, does it?
Source: The Guardian
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The cool, splashy-cymbal and guitar-twang sound of the James Bond theme is not the most obvious place to look for classical quotations, but amid the glamour, guns and girls of 007 lurks a similarity to an obscure work by Finland's finest, Jean Sibelius.
Source: Classic FM
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Cassazione, Op. 6, performed by Tapiola Sinfonietta
Listen to the opening of Sibelius' Cassazione, an orchestral work from 1904:
Jean and his wife Aino Sibelius spent almost their entire life as a family, from 1904 to their deaths, in their house Ainola in Järvenpää. Ainola, the home of the Sibelius family, is Finland's internationally best known home museum.