In 2015, the music world celebrates the 150th birthday of the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865–1957). A perfect occasion to engage with his works and make them the focus of the concert programmes! Berlin-based publisher Robert Heinrich Lienau concluded an agreement with the composer in 1905, in which all works from the following five years were left to him. The first work included in the agreement was the Violin Concerto in D Minor Op. 47. After being subject to criticism at its first performance on 8th February 1904 Sibelius withdrew it so as to revise it. Out of respect for the composer’s intentions, the early version from 1904 could previously only be made public on rare occasions.
Marking the anniversary with the early version of the violin concerto: In keeping with the work carried out on the Jean Sibelius Complete Works Edition, and in order to meet the great interest of professionals surrounding this version, the heirs and publisher have now decided to release it. This is a significant step not only for academia but also for performers and the public! The early version of the violin concerto is generally classified as more dramatic, virtuosic and more Beethoven-like than the revised version, as well as more harsh and jagged. It exerts a peculiar charm and provides, together with the revised version of 1905, a unique insight into the workings of the composer. We proudly present you now the performance material of the early version, based on the volume of the complete edition “Jean Sibelius Works” edited by Timo Virtanen (Breitkopf & Härtel). The revised version is, of course, still available as usual.