Simon Rattle in conversation with Vesa Sirén (61 min.)
In this extensive interview, Sir Simon Rattle talks to the Finnish music journalist Vesa Sirén about Jean Sibelius, who Rattle considers to be among the most important symphonic composers in music history. The conversation took place in February 2015 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Sibelius’s birth, which the Berliner Philharmoniker celebrated with a performance of all of the composer’s seven symphonies and his violin concerto. Here they discuss the characteristics of the individual works, Rattle’s memories of working with the major Sibelius conductor Paavo Berglund, the scepticism towards this music which prevailed in Germany for a long time, and Herbert von Karajan’s view of these works. In addition, Rattle and Sirén talk about the almost total silence of the composer following the Seventh Symphony and Sibelius’s position within the context of modern music.