Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 4 in a Op. 63
From the very beginning, Jean Sibelius regarded his fourth symphony as the start of a new direction for his work. As he began writing the work in 1910, he proclaimed in his diary, “I am intentionally burning my boats.” In addition to this, the composer was dealing with a multitude of life troubles: he had just had a malignant tumor removed from his throat; he was deeply in debt and did not have much of an income – he even had to leave composing to deal with his creditors – and he increasingly felt alienated from the current-day musical trends.