Rondo for viola and piano by Jean Sibelius
Edited by Folke Grasbeck. Published by Fennica Gehman
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, like his Rondo (1893), his only surviving work for viola and piano. His early, epic folk style is on full display in this short piece with its soaring melody and driving, kinetic rhythms. The technical demands aren't significant, rendering the piece suitable for early advanced players, with brief treble-clef and fifth-position passages. Intermediate-advanced level, grade 4.