Sunday, June 12, 2016

Jean Sibelius - Finlandia

Image from Le Wik
Today is Helsinki Day, celebrating the founding of that city.  Likely 100,000 people will turn out for a day celebrating all things Suomi.  When you think of classical music and Suomi, you think of Jean Sibelius.  I'm quite surprised that in four years of sunday classical posts I haven't done this song.

Jean Sibelius was part of the late nineteenth century movement of nationalist composers (broadly including GreigDvořák, and even Vaughan Williams).  Sibeliuswas perhaps the most influential of all in helping to crystalize a national identity as Finland struggled for independence from Russia.

Finlandia is without doubt his most recognizable piece.  It premiered in 1899, in the middle of a career than would best be described at the time as "sleeper".  His reputation grew to the point where in the 1920s he simply stopped composing.  His last thirty years were known as "The Silence of Järvenpää" where his house was).

1 comment:

libertyman said...

I had seen that video before -- a fabulous work of photography, presumably all taken in Finland. Let's go visit!

Thanks for the class today.

PS It was rather cool and windy in Maine today, just back from there this afternoon.