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Jean Sibelius (1865–1957): THE OCEANIDES, OP. 73
Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra; Neeme Järvi, conductor. Sibelius: Tone-poems (Deutsche Grammophon)
As the musical modernism of Schoenberg and his ilk began taking hold in Central Europe, the symphonic conservatism of Jean Sibelius became marginalized. Luckily, Sibelius’s voice was particularly attractive in America, championed by such American composers as Horatio Parker. In 1914, Parker invited Sibelius to the U.S. for a concert tour, and the centerpiece of that tour because his tone poem The Oceanides, commissioned and premiered at the Norfolk, Connecticut Chamber Music Festival that same year. The work was originally titled “Rondeau of Waves,” but later changed to Oceanides, which were water nymphs from Greek mythology. In Greek myth, the Oceanides are the thousands of daughters of Oceanus, Titan of the sea, each living beneath a different body of water.