My father’s idea of a good evening was to sit in the half-darkness getting drunk and listening to classical music; he had us kids turn the record or tape over for him. I always had preferences for some of the music above others – when I was five I conceived such a passion for “The Well-Tempered Synthesizer” that I would positively refuse to get out of bed unless I had heard it in the morning. I didn’t really start investigating on my own, however, until high school. I can remember sitting down with my father one evening with the list of CBS Records “Great Performances” and interrogating him on all the pieces highlighted there. All the ones he approved of I would go find in our local library. He approved of the Sibelius tone poems, and I found there the Barbirolli recording. Later I bought a cassette, and after wearing the cassette out I bought a CD, which I still own and listen to. In college I began moving into the Sibelius back catalog, and recently I’ve been returning to it. His incidental music falls into that category. Pieces like “Karelia” move from what sounds like very good movie music before there were movies, to things like “The Founding of Viipuri Castle” that have fabulous and weird symphonic textures unlike any other music at all.