On the Work of Others

In writing about Sibelius and other content, I do quote from others, as well as use content (pictures, paintings, music, video, etc) from others. I do my best to acknowledge and respect all sources, by titling and referencing/linking the original or origins. If I have overlooked any, please accept my sincere apologies and send me a message at dustofhue {at} gmail to let me know. I will make amends.

On Using or Copying My Work

Over the years since many of these articles from the Inkpot have been on the internet, they have been copied and quoted. To be honest, I am humbled and pleased by the attention, and in many cases for the compliments and good use of my work. I have been quoted in Wikipedia, translated into Chinese (maybe more, I don’t know) and referenced in professional papers.

Please let me know, and link back if you wish to use my material.

Professional Use / Commissions

I humbly offer my capacities as a writer for any professional or semi-professional music bodies who need Sibelius programme notes for concerts and the like.  My philosophy in writing music notes is always to relate to the composer as a person, an intellectual thinker, and his time and context.  I try to write in a critical literary + poetic tone, mixing critical discussions with an attempt to cast in words the artistic qualities of the music. I do not consider myself a trained musician, and it is not my forte (and I will not pretend so) to be academic about a piece of music.  While I am able to explain certain technicalities, I try to do it so that a layman will understand.


My rate per set of concert programme notes is [Highest Price of Your Concert’s Ticket Prices] x 3, subject to a minimum of USD150.

If this is not feasible to you for any reason, please feel free to contact me at dustofhue {at} gmail.


Sibelius Symphonies 1 & 3 (The Philharmonic Orchestra, Northern Exposure Series, 4 Oct 2007)

Sibelius Symphonies 2 & 4 (The Philharmonic Orchestra, Northern Exposure Series, 30 Mar 2008).

Sibelius Symphonies 5, 6 & 7 (The Philharmonic Orchestra, Northern Exposure Series, 27 Jul 2008).

Beethoven 7th Symphony (NUS Symphony Orchestra)

Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Philharmonic Orchestra).

6 thoughts on “Copy/Write”

  1. Dear Leon,

    Thanks for your intelligent, sensitive essays on Sibelius. I’ve been a Sibelius fan for many years and have collected some fine and interesting stuff written on the master, including The Cambridge Companion & David Hurwitz’s book, to mention only some fairly recent material. I loved your “Nutcase” essay on Tapiola in particular,and through your site I’ve read the piece on the possibly surviving fragments of the Eighth, and heard the music. Ah, the wonders of the web! Thank you! A haunting experience. I’m inclined to agree with Lorena that it’s better not to dredge up material, some of which might be very speculative, but to let the myth and mystery remain. In fact David Hurwitz argues that Sibelius wrote plenty (even Nine Symphonies if you count Kullervo and the Opus 22, Lemminkainen suite) and had every right to “retire.” However,the “silence at Jarvenpaa” is an attractive and haunting concept. It arouses thoughts of Prospero “drowning his book” (especially given the Tempest music!). I used it myself in my Sibelius poem (in my book Time’s Fools-2010).

    Although born in NYC I’ve lived in Canada a long time and see a connection between the Canadian north and Sibelius (as Glenn Gould did!). I used the poem heading (“Widespread they stand, the Northland’s dusky forests” etc) to Tapiola as an epigraph to my novel The Well of Time (Harper-Collins,1988)and wrote about a Sibelius concert in Quebec City in my recent mystery novel Nightshade (Dundurn, 2010). I’d love to send you the Sibelius poem, and will check for an address when I finish this.

    One thing that I’ve found surprising over the years is the extreme difficulty of performing the symphonies really convincingly in the concert hall. Of course if you’re sitting in London or New York, or you live in Scandinavia, you will get some good performances, but elsewhere it’s difficult. I’ve heard some terrific Mahler, Bruckner, and just about all the great symphonic masters performed well in Ottawa over the years, but only a few convincing renderings of Sibelius (and always by visiting stars, e.g. Ashkenazy and the Leningrad). Recordings therefore become a huge treasure in the case of Sibelius, which is one reason I appreciate your comments and analysis of Berglund’s CDs (and everything else!). The best Sibelius I ever heard live was the Sixth done by Beecham in Washington a long time ago (1957?) Keep up the great work; it’s a pleasure to read your essays.

  2. In fact I’ve always thought the “nine” symphonies of Sibelius are Kullervo + the seven + Tapiola! Thank you for your very kind words, Tom. I’m so pleased to make your acquaintance over the internet. I find it fascinating that Sibelius has influenced you in writing – it is the same for me, though I only wish I could have the opportunities to write novels. The way I write essays, including those about Sibelius, is often in an organic a way as I can manage. I try not to leave behind any extraneous notes, or rather, words.

    Thank you for sharing your listening experience! I agree, I’ve heard many pieces live, among my privileges are Kullervo and the Oceanides, but not all are convincing, though when they are, they are truly an experience.1957? You were around during Sibelius’ life then?

    (You can email me at – I would love to read your poem).

  3. Hi Leon,

    I was just reading a review of the a Sibelius Seven package from Musical Concepts (originally on Vanguard) on Musicweb International and was intrigued to see the names of Maurice Abravanel and the Utah Symphony. This brought back happy memories of some of my early record-buying in New York City at places like Sam Goody’s and The Record Hunter. Abravanel’s Sibelius first came out on CD around 2001, but the source must be much older and here it is again, and it gets a pretty favourable review from the Sibelius expert Rob Barnett. This touches on a few things I’d like to mention.

    1) I’m amazed that at a time when CDs are supposed to be fading away we are getting so many re-floatings of earlier productions and often at prices that make for irresistible bargains. Does that mean we’ll eventually see the old Watanabe Sibelius resurface? I never heard it and it was probably mono, and maybe not wonderful, but who knows?

    2) Abravanel conducted the Utah Symphony from 1947 until 1979, according to Barnett. He must have made recordings fairly early, because I’m sure I heard my first Mahler symphonies on the radio in his versions, and this was before the Bernstein storm!

    3) Luckily, I have an old catalogue from Sam Goody ( The Long Player, June, 1952) and this may interest some Sibelius fans. Here’s the extent of what was available from Sibelius in LP form at that point(at least in the US general market): Finlandia (5 versions), Karelia Suite (1), Pelleas and Melisande (1), Voces Intimae (1), Songs (part of 1), the Swan of T. (2), Symphony 1 (2), Symphony 2 (3), Symphony 5 (1), Symphony 7 (1). The conductors of the symphonies are, in order: Mann (who is this?), Stokowski, Mann again, Ormandy, Koussevitsky, Rodzinski (the 5th–that’s one I’d love to hear!), and Beecham.

    I don’t remember the first recording of Sibelius I ever heard. It was very likely Finlandia, not a bad start. I think the first symphony broadcast I heard was probably a New York Philharmonic. It might have been Barbirolli. There is an absolutely amazing remastering ( Dutton CDBP 9733) of the Second conducted by Barbirolli in 1942. You simply won’t believe the sound on this! I love it!

    Think of all the treasures we have access to now! Who says improvements in technology don’t serve the arts!!!!

    I hope you will get around to reviewing the Abravanel, Leon. Have you ever heard the Watanabe? the 1942 Barbirolli? With conducting, I guess, it’s onward, but not necessarily upward! Thanks for the piece on 4/5 in your backyard!I look forward to more of your reviews and comments.

  4. Hi Leon,
    I work as an museum educationalist in the Sibelius Museum in Turku, Finland. At the moment we are planning and building a minor exhibition with the working title “Mine and Your Sibelius” where we want to show things (arts, crafts, websites, advertisements etc) that include Sibelius and things that Sibelius makes people do (or how Sibelius inspires people. I found your blog and pictures on Pinterest and would like to mention it somehow in the exhibition. Could you please send me an email if you are interested to let us use your blog as an example? You´ll find my contacts from:
    I also want to say that you have nice pages and it is always amazing to find people who are so into the life and works of Janne (as he was called by family and friends) :)
    All the best, hope to hear from you, Unna

  5. Hi Unna,
    It’s such a pleasure and honour to hear from you and the Museum! I’ve sent you an email in reply. I’m very keen to contribute! And thanks so much for the compliments!

  6. This is excellent news!
    Everyone who loves Sibelius should know your blog. I’m very pleased for you and for your new readers who will surely come.

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