An artist's life in the 1890s

The 1890s were wonderful. I was almost a "Svecoman" [a supporter of Swedish language and culture in Finland], until the Päivälehti circle awakened a new spirit in me.(Interview for the magazine
Suomen Kuvalehti, published 8th December 1945)

Conducting was marvellous. I wasn't nervous at all. I just felt a head taller. If only the compositions weren’t such shit. 
(To Adolf Paul, December 1891)

As regards En Saga, the story was this: in the autumn of 1892 Kajanus asked me to write a small da capo piece for orchestra to fit into the programme; however, it came to nothing. At the same time I was writing a new composition for orchestra, which I completed on Christmas Eve.
(To Jussi Snellman, 1943)

Tried to compose but there was no schwung [swing]. Why is that schwung so rare nowadays! Could it be that my wild life in Venere (or in Baccho) has caused a kind of limpness in my soul. I don't seem to be able to make the Coronation March take shape. I lack energy – mental energy.
(Note by JS, 22nd August 1896]

You said that our sun is rising – and I believe it too. Mattila will be a peaceful home, if both of us choose to make it so. It depends on us, or rather on me.
(To Aino Sibelius, 31st March 1899)