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Sibelius made a very successful visit to the USA, his first and last, in 1914. During this visit he was treated like a royalty by his host Carl Stoeckel, also receiving an honorary doctorate from Yale University. The composer was most impressed with the orchestra he conducted, with players coming from New York and Boston. This concert recreates the programme heard at ‘The Music Shed’ in 1914.
Pohjola’s Daughter is one of the greatest of Sibelius’s tone poems, premiered on 29th December 1906 at the Mariinsky Theatre, Russia, where the orchestra loved it and it was a huge success. From it one can find traces of the Kalevala, but it also stands alone without any introduction.
Though it had not yet been performed, Sibelius rewrote The Oceanides specifically for his visit to the USA where it was premiered. The critic Olin Downes called the piece ‘the finest evocation of the sea which has ever been produced in music’.