Sibelius and stimulants

Jean Sibelius enjoyed both alcohol and tobacco in a way that could not always be regarded as healthy. There were both poetic and psychological aspects to this: the smell of a cigar was one of the few recollections he had of his father, who died in 1868.

The mere colour of a wine was enough to inspire him: he thought that the golden Frascati of Rome was like "an ode of Horace" and that the red wine sauce served with roast fowl was at its best only after the "joyful red C major colour" had slowly cooked and become "melancholy" (dark) enough.

Sibelius had a strong synaesthetic faculty. Musical harmonies, colours, odours and tastes together created pleasure for his senses.