A Sibelius world premiere?

A Sibelius world premiere?


norman lebrecht

May 25, 2021

Avanti! Chamber Orchestra will play Sibelius’ 12-minute Concert Overture, last heard on April 7, 1900 at the Turku Fire Brigade Hall.

Conductor Tuomas Hannikainen discovered the score inside another manuscript and has edited it fr tonight’s concert at 7pm on the ensemble’s Youtube channel here.



  • J Barcelo says:

    Oh no! So my 13 volume “Complete Sibelius” from Bis isn’t so complete?

  • fflambeau says:

    This appears to have been not only played but recorded by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Neeme Järvi. On BIS label.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    No, it certainly is not…. in your own posting, Mr. Lebrecht, you wrote that this work was “last heard on April 7, 1900 at the Turku Fire Brigade Hall.”

    • Jean says:

      Would still be a premiere of the Hannikainen reconstruction/edition

    • David K. Nelson says:

      Haven’t you heard, Greg?

      “We are the world.”

      “We are the world (we are the world)
      We are the children (said we are the children)
      Things performed when WE weren’t there to hear
      Ain’t no world premiere.
      Just you and me, yeah.”

  • Herbie G says:

    The answer lies in the key. There are two early overtures that Sibelius wrote – one in A minor, from 1902, the other in E major from 1891. The Maiden in the Tower was written in 1896. All three works are listed as ‘Unpublished’ in The New Grove Dictionary, dating from 1980.

    As far as the E major overture goes, the BIS sleeve notes don’t mention any connection with the opera. Neither do those of the Naxos recording of the A minor overture, which, they say, was written in one night in a hotel room.

    So it seems that Naxos are overtaking the BIS!