Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) Complete Works (JSW)
edited by the National Library of Finland and the Sibelius Society of Finland
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In 1998, at the end of the 20th century, Breitkopf & Härtel started the publication of the Complete Edition, which is made possible thanks to the cooperation of the various Sibelius publishers. The Editors (Helsinki University Library and The Sibelius Society of Finland) and the Editorial Committee (Chairman: Timo Virtanen, Helsinki) believe that the volumes of JSW will provide the basis for a now conception of the creative work of Jean Sibelius.
One immediately recognizes the towering production quality of these volumes – a point that can be extended to all volumes thus far published in the set. The music is a joy to read; and the lucidity and thoroughness of the texts … are models of scholarly editions, and should be required reading for all bibliography and music-editing courses. … In sum, the JSW is a remarkable project: the scholarship is impeccable, the music scores and texts are simply a joy to study. Edward Jurkowski, Notes December 2011: 442–443
At the back of this magnificent book are pages of critical commentary on a bar-by-bar analysis of an endless supply of musical notation requiring interpretation by the editor. … For the general, non-musically trained, purchaser of the edition there is the magisterial introduction to read, and fascinating reading it is. Edward W. Clark, Sibelius Society Newsletter 2009
The Sibelius pieces, however, are a revelation. I opened this magnificently produced volume – complete with multilingual critical report and generous facsimiles of original manuscripts – expecting Grieg-style quasi-nationalistic character pieces, and was instead presented with an incredible array of styles, textures, harmonic languages and levels of difficulty. Chris White, Piano Professional Summer 2009: 2
This is not only a scholarly edition of one of the composer’s major works, it is also a model for the philological editing of music in general. … JSW has chosen to have the emendations reflected in two places, in certain cases even in three: as graphic indications in the music text, in prose form in the critical commentary, and sometimes also in the form of a warning footnote on the music page. There can be no doubt that such a procedure is very user-friendly, but it disturbs the appearance of the music and may mislead the user into thinking that there are two or more equally valid readings. Niels Krabbe, Fontes Artis Musicae 54/2, 2007: 248
Editorial standards are high throughout, and maintain a careful balance between the competing demands of practical exigency and the need to provide as much scholarly evidence of variants as possible. The critical commentaries provide concise and effective descriptions of the sources and, where appropriate, information on compositional genesis and historical context. The introduction to each volume provide useful background information on historical reception, including much new material not previously brought to light in Tawaststjerna’s biography. Daniel M. Grimley, Nineteenth-Century Music Review 2/2, 2005: 244
In the critical edition Jean Sibelius Works (JSW) all the surviving works of Jean Sibelius, including early versions and his own arrangements, are published for the first time. Some of the earlier editions have run out of print, some works even some of the central ones have never been published, and many of the published editions are not entirely unquestionable or reliable. Thus, the aim of the present edition is to provide an overview of Sibelius in its entirety, through musical texts based on a thorough study of all known sources, and prepared in accordance with modern editorial and text-critical principles. The edition serves to illuminate various aspects of the works sources and history, as well as Sibelius's notational practices. It is intended for both scholarly use and performances.
The Jean Sibelius Works is divided into nine series:
Series I: Orchestral Works
Series II: Works for Violin (Cello) and Orchestra
Series III: Works for String Orchestra and Wind Orchestra
Series IV: Chamber Music
Series V: Works for Piano
Series VI: Works for the Stage and Melodramas
Series VII: Choral Works
Series VIII: Works for Solo Voice
Series IX: Varia
Each volume includes an introduction, which sheds light on the genesis, first performances, early reception, publication process and possible revisions of each work; it also offers other in formation on the works in their historical context. Significant references to the compositions in the biographical sources and the literature, such as those concerning dates of composition and revisions, as well as Sibelius's statements concerning his works and performance issues, are examined and discussed on the basis of the original sources and in their original context.
In the Critical Commentary, all relevant sources are described and evaluated, and specific editorial principles and problems of the volume in relation to the source situation of each work are explained. The Critical Remarks illustrate the different readings between the sources and contain explanations of and justifica tions for editorial decisions and emendations.
A large body of Sibelius's autograph musical manuscripts has survived. Because of the high number of sketches and drafts for certain works, however, it would not be possible to include all the materials in the JSW volumes. Those musical manuscripts sketches, drafts, and composition fragments, as well as passages crossed out or otherwise deleted in autograph scores which are relevant from the point of view of the edition, illustrate central features in the compositional process or open up new perspectives on the work, are included as facsimiles or appendices.
Sibelius's published works typically were a result of a goal-oriented process, where the printed score basically was intended as Fassung letzter Hand. However, the composer sometimes made, suggested, or planned alterations to his works after publication, and occasionally minor revisions were also included in the later printings. What also makes the question about Sibelius's final intention vis-à-vis the printed editions complicated is that he obviously was not always a very willing, scrupulous and systematic proofreader of his works. As a result, the first editions, even though basically prepared under his supervision, very often contain copyists and engravers errors, misinterpretations, inaccuracies and misleading generalizations, as well as changes made according to the standards of the pub lishing houses. In comparison with the autograph sources, the first editions may also include changes which the composer made during the publication process. The contemporary edi tions of Sibelius's works normally correspond to the composers intentions in the main features, such as pitches, rhythms, and tempo indications, but they are far less reliable in details concerning dynamics, articulation, and the like. Thus, if several sources for a work have survived, a single source alone can seldom be regarded as reliable or decisive in every respect.
JSW aims to publish Sibelius's works as thoroughly re-examined musical texts, and to decipher ambiguous, questionable and controversial readings in the primary sources. Those specifics which are regarded as copyists and engravers mistakes, as well as other unauthorized additions, omissions and changes, are amended. The musical texts are edited to conform to Sibelius's sometimes idiosyncratic notation and intentions, which are best illustrated in his autographs. Although retaining the com posers notational practice is the basic guideline in the JSW edition, some standardization of, for instance, stem directions and vertical placement of articulation marks is carried out in the JSW scores. If any standardization is judged as compromis ing or risking the intentions manifested in Sibeliuss autograph sources, the composers original notation is followed as closely as possible in the edition.
In the JSW the following principles are applied:
- Opus numbers and JS numbers of works without opus number, as well as work titles, basically conform to those given in Fabian Dahlströms Jean Sibelius. Thematisch-bibliographisches Verzeichnis seiner Werke (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 2003).
- Instruments and vocal parts are designated by their Italian names. Repetitions indicated with the symbol % and passages annotated with instructions such as col Violino I are written out.
- Unpitched percussion instruments are notated on a single line each.
- As a rule, only the text to which Sibelius composed or ar ranged a vocal work is printed in the score. Modern Swedish (as well as German) orthography was established during Sibeliuss lifetime, in the early twentieth century. Therefore, the general orthography of the texts is modernized, a decision that most profoundly affects the Swedish language (resulting in spellings such as vem, säv, or havet instead of hvem, säf, hafvet), but to some degree also texts in Finnish and German.
Other types of notational features and emendations are specified case by case in the Critical Commentary of each volume.
Editorial additions and emendations not directly based on primary sources are shown in the scores by square brackets, broken lines (in the case of ties and slurs), and/or footnotes. Since the editorial procedures are dependent on the source situation of each work, the specific editorial principles and questions are discussed in each volume.
Possible additions and corrections to the volumes will be reported on the publishers website.
Helsinki, Spring 2008