Sibelius and his wife were separated over the New Year's celebration of 1900 because his wife was away at her brother's house, as his daughter had just died in a typhus epidemic. A few weeks later the epidemic had reached the town of Kerava where Sibelius and his family lived, and on the 13th of February their 15-month old daughter Kirsti died. Aino took the other children away from Kerava and away from the epidemic. Kirsti was the youngest daughter and Sibelius was very attached to her. In March, Sibelius wrote to his wife:
I think very often of you, joy of my heart. If only you could get over it. I don't know what I ought to do. My dearest, don't look back on the past but forward. It is the only way to survive (or better; don't look forward, live in the present). The countryside is so beautiful and besides that you have the children and - I dare scarcely even to say - me.
It has been alleged by some that Sibelius wrote the complete piece in three hours. It was originally titled Fantasia and given its first performance on March 12, 1900.
|Malinconia by Magnus Enckell|