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Theme and Variations for solo cello by Jean Sibelius
Edited by Folke Grasbeck. Published by Fennica Gehnman
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) was Finland's greatest and first notable composer. Early in his career he found success as a violinist, but ultimately turned to composition, finding inspiration in the epic, mythical Finnish poem Kalevala and the breathtaking nature around his home in Ainola. His musical trademark is the organic, steady transformation of very small motives into sprawling, lyrical themes.
Though Sibelius wrote little chamber music in his maturity, many of his early compositions were charming, small-scale chamber pieces. His Theme and Variations for solo cello (1887) is one of these works; it is also the first solo cello work written by a Finnish composer. It shows influences from Bach's counterpoint and Paganini's solo variation works. Includes historical notes and critical commentary by editor Folke Grasbeck. Advanced level, grade 5.