Approaching Robert Kajanus´ three last works for violin


  • Sebastian Silén Sibelius-Akatemia


arkistotutkimus, Robert Kajanus, suomalainen musiikki, taiteellinen tutkimus, viulu


This article explores Robert Kajanus’ (1856–1933) three last works for violin, Nocturne (1929), Menuet ancien (1930), and Spiccato (1931). These unpublished works show a largely unknown side of Kajanus as a composer. They highlight the fact that while Kajanus’ compositional output decreased after the 1890s he by no means stopped composing. The style of these works is also strikingly different from his national romantic works from the nineteenth century. The supporting material for all three works consists of several manuscripts, which include versions for both violin and piano, and violin and orchestra. These manuscripts sometimes include major revisions, and there are also sometimes differences between varying versions of the works. The interpretation of the available material therefore has a major role in how the music is presented. The works have initially been approached from a performer’s perspective, with the aim of bringing the works to the stage. Subsequently I have also become involved in an effort to publish Kajanus’ works for violin and piano. These two different perspectives have mostly complemented each other, but especially in the case of Kajanus’ Spiccato I have felt that my musician’s perspective has suggested different solutions than when approaching the work with an editorial mindset.

Kirjoittajan esittely

Sebastian Silén, Sibelius-Akatemia

Sebastian Silén is a violinist and doctoral student at the arts study programme at the Sibelius Academy. His artistic research explores the Nordic context which surrounds Jean Sibelius’s works for violin and piano. During the past years he has worked on a CD recording which includes works for violin and piano by Fredrik Pacius, Robert Kajanus and Jean Sibelius. The current article is a result of his archival research as part of his doctoral studies.






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