"Sibelius's Violin Concerto in D Minor"

 Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) was a late Romantic Finnish composer famous for his orchestral compositions, and particularly his seven symphonies. Sibelius worked prolifically and productively up until the 1920s, when he stopped writing music whilst working on an eighth symphony. An alcoholic, he was extremely self-critical and prone to violent mood swings. In the mid-1940s Sibelius burned a lot of his papers, including unheard compositions. However, his seven surviving symphonies are enough to ensure his place among the world's most highly regarded composers.

Sibelius's Violin Concerto in D Minor was written in 1904 and dedicated to the violinist Willy Burmester, who sadly could not afford to travel to Helsinki in order to play the piece at its world premiere. It is the only concerto Sibelius ever wrote.

Listen to the Violin Concerto in D Minor on Spotify.

Read an extract Alex Ross's book The Rest is Noise about Sibelius.