In 1904, Sibelius moved with his family to Villa Ainola, the house they had built in Järvenpää, some 40 km north of Helsinki. The change from the restless city life full of temptations, to the peace of the countryside, proved auspicious for Sibelius work, "In Helsinki, the song died within me". The Concerto for Violin was completed in 1904-05. After that he gradually moved away from the national romantic style, a change that can already be seen in Symphony no. 3 (1907). Villa Ainola in winter. There was no electricity, and the house was heated by log fires. Winter storms blew in and around the corners at night. Every spring, summer, and autumn Sibelius, to whom nature was like a sanctuary, watched the birds and listened to their song.
The beginning of the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.
Valse Triste is a piece of music for the theatre that was played all over Europe, and that has been arranged in numerous ways. It made Sibelius's name even better known than Finlandia (1900). The right kind of publishing contract would have made the forever indebted Sibelius a rich man, but he sold the rights of the piece for a petty sum.
Sibelius by the fireplace in Ainola in 1905.
In the summer of 1908, Sibelius was operated on for a tumour in the throat, after which he refrained from alcohol for seven years. after the operation, the musical expression of many of his works became more introverted. This development can already be traced in the String Quartet in D minor ("Voces intimae", 1909), and it culminates in Symphony no. 4 (1911), taken to the utter realms of tonality.