Symphony No. 6 (Sibelius)

Symphony No. 6 (Sibelius)

Symphony No. 6 (Sibelius)

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Jean Sibelius's Symphony No. 6 in D minor, Op. 104, was completed in 1923. Although the symphony is usually described as being "in D minor" the score does not contain a key attribution. Much of the symphony is in fact in the (modern) Dorian mode.

It was premiered by the Helsinki City Orchestra, conducted by the composer, on 19 February 1923. It was to be dedicated to Wilhelm Stenhammar, but the publisher lost the dedication page.

The work is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 horn, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, harp, timpani and string.

The symphony has four movements:
  1. Allegro molto moderato
  2. Allegretto moderato
  3. Poco vivace
  4. Allegro molto


The Sixth has been called "the Cinderella of the seven symphonies" by musicologist Gerald Abraham. Sibelius wrote in 1943 that "the sixth symphony always reminds me of the scent of the first snow". In a remark published in 1955 he said "Rage and passion ... are utterly essential in it, but it is supported by undercurrents deep under the surface of the music".

The first commercial recording was made by Georg SchnÊevoigt with the Finnish National Orchestra on 8 June 1934 for HMV's Sibelius Society.

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