Rosa Harriet Newmarch [1857-1940] was well-known in her lifetime as the leading British authority on Russian music, yet she also enjoyed a long and close friendship with the Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius [1865-1957]. This edition traces a personal and professional relationship that lasted more than three decades, as documented in more than 130 letters, notes and telegrams currently held in the National Archives of Finland.
The correspondence, conducted in a mixture of French and German, reveals the intense friendship between Sibelius and Newmarch, sheds detailed light on Newmarch's contribution to the development of musical life in Britain, and provides some of Sibelius's most intimate commentary on his own works, as well as on those of other composers.
This edition contains the complete extant correspondence between Newmarch and Sibelius in English translation, complemented by comprehensive commentaries on the events and personalities referred to, and is prefaced by an extensive introduction outlining Newmarch's definitive role in promoting Sibelius and his music in early twentieth-century Britain. An appendix reproduces a previously unknown programme note that Newmarch wrote for the first British performance of Sibelius's Fourth Symphony.
The book's translation and publication of the letters in English is complemented by the letters' online availability in their original language.
PHILIP ROSS BULLOCK is University Lecturer in Russian at the University of Oxford, and Tutor and Fellow at Wadham College, Oxford.
Click here for the online availability of the letters in their original language.
This correspondence is an exciting book, which is not what one necessarily expects from the scholarly edition of an exchange of letters. . . . DIE MUSIKFORSCHUNG
An engaging and informative read for anyone interested in Sibelius, but also in other facets: the way an artist is established by his supporters, the music scene of early twentieth-century Britain, or the ambivalent inspiration afforded by observing the cultural contribution that women of this era could make. . . . The book is attractively presented, with clear print, a good index, and a substantial bibliography. . . . A compelling and enjoyable read, whose poignant qualities come to the surface as the last few heartfelt greetings are exchanged. FONTES ARTIS MUSICAE
Bullock's meticulously researched edition of this correspondence is a welcome resource and promises to be an essential tool for scholarship concerning English musical life and each of its primary authors. NOTES
[P]rovides an exemplary edition of the Newmarch-Sibelius correspondence. MUSICAL TIMES
Philip Ross Bullock's generous and judiciously chosen notes and commentaries, [give] a broader, more roundly human portrait of the composer than is found in most biographical studies. . . . Newmarch herself emerges as an admirable character -- heroic in her determination to enrich British musical life. BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
The level of scholarship and perception in [this] book are extremely high, and the introduction [is] well-proportioned, packed full of information and elegantly written. . . . Mention should also be made of the first-rate production values. UK SIBELIUS SOCIETY NEWSLETTER