Posts Tagged ‘Jean Sibelius’

The “Day of Finnish Music!”

December 8, 2016

Today marks the birthday of Jean Julius Christian Sibelius, Finland’s greatest composer.  Finland has actually celebrated this day as “Flag Day” since 2011 in honor of Sibelius whose music is credited with helping Finland establish its national identity when seeking its independence from Russia (Declaration of Independence was adopted on December 6, 1917).   My first exposure to Sibelius was in band class (during Junior High and High School) where we often performed his work “Finlandia.”    For your listening enjoyment, here is Opus 26, Sibelius’ symphonic poem which was a covert protest against Russian censorship!

“Pay no attention to what the critics say.  A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic.”  (Jean Sibelius)

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Critics and Criticism!

July 6, 2016

It would seem that in today’s day and age, critics are generally not popular people — no one wants or likes to receive criticism.   Why is it then that everyone seems to be a critic.  An interesting dilemma indeed.  Here are some quotations that drive this point home rather effectively.

“Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they are unable to do it themselves.”  (Brendan Behan)

“You know who the critics are?  The men who have failed in literature and art.”  (Benjamin Disraeli)

“Criticism is a study by which men grow important and formidable at very small expense.”  (Samuel Johnson)

“The lot of critics is to be remembered by what they failed to understand.”  (George Moore)

“At ev’ry word a reputation dies.”  (Alexander Pope)

“Never pay attention to what critics say . . . A statue has never been set up in honour of a critic!”  (Jean Sibelius)

And this conversation between Oscar Wilde and the critic Beerbohm Tree:

WILDE: I shall always regard you as the best critic of my plays.
TREE: But I have never criticized your plays.
WILDE: That’s why.

Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations.