Williams, Hermine W.

Sibelius and His Masonic Music Sounds in 'silence'
1998 0-7734-8376-4
This study of Sibelius's Musique réligieuse (opus 113) is based upon newly discovered autographed documents and related materials held in Masonic Lodge archives and private collections. It considerably augments and reinterprets the only other study of this particular study (published in Finnish more than a decade ago by Einari Marvia). Part 1 chronicles the evolution of opus 113 from its initial creation in 1927 for use by the Masonic lodge in Helsinki where Sibelius held membership to its final authorized English-language publication in 1950 by the Grand Lodge of New York. Part 2 contains an analysis of the texts and music, and includes a discussion of the orchestral version of the 1927 manuscript created by Leo Funtek. In addition to addressing Sibelius's association with Freemasonry and the significance of his music for Masonic rituals, it sheds light on the composer's activities during his 'period of silence' (1927-1957), provides insight into the composer's religious views, and offers a different perspective on Sibelius's relationship with Americans. The author had access to and permission to print a number of letters from/to Sibelius held in private collections. These, and a number of photos taken of Sibelius by his American visitors, add significantly to the value of the study. Not only musicologists but scholars working in the field of Freemasonry will be interested in this work, for it not only illumines the close ties between New York and Finnish Masonic lodges, but is also one of the first to focus attention on the music used in American Masonic rituals.