Sibelius does not like to speak about his own compositions. If he does so, he always regrets it the next day. In his opinion, Art cannot be explained by words. The listener has almost limitless possibilities for misunderstanding his words, and very few to understand them aright. Only external, secondary things can be spoken of in words; the inner process of creating is something inexplicable. It is the creative force which, in all works of Art, is of an imperative necessity for Sibelius. If one does not loose oneself in the throes of creation, he professes, then a composition is worth nothing. For a composer who takes his works as seriously as that, it is naturally of the greatest importance how they are performed. Through the radio and records and assisted by newspapers and letters from many friends, Sibelius pays very zealous attention to the fate of his compositions, he has had much cause for rejoicing when the most famous conductors and artists have performed his works, but there have been many disappointments too. It still happens too often that his music is played in the wrong tempi and without understanding. Sibelius does his best to correct the faults. Metronome instructions are sent to publishers and artists, and conductors receive flattering letters with friendly hints about incorrectly played passages. However richly and versatile Jean Sibelius is as a man, he is primarily a composer. Creative work is for him just everything. Music is his life. He believes in music everywhere; in the soul of man and in God’s nature, on other planets, yes, in the whole universe.
Santeri Levas was a private secretary to Jean Sibelius for more than sixteen years. This book, divided in four parts/four languages (Finnish, Swedish, English and German), will give the reader at least some idea of the impressive personality and human greatness of the famous composer, whose works, year by year more evident, belong to the everlasting creations of music.