Music from Finland: Second Symphony of Jean Sibelius

Jean Sibelius in 1913(Photo: Wikipedia)
Jean Sibelius in 1913(Photo: Wikipedia)

This evening on Symphony @ 7, we journey to Finland for music of its greatest composer, Jean Sibelius.  His music played an important role in the formation of Finnish national identity at the beginning of the 20th century, but for listeners world-wide, it especially evokes the feeling of nature and the far-northern landscapes.

The Second Symphony comes from 1901 and is considered the culmination of his “early period,” with the influence of the Russian symphonic tradition still apparent, especially that of Peter Tchaikovsky’s music.  Beginning with the Third Symphony and on through the Seventh, Sibelius took a more individual path in his musical development, but the feeling for the world of nature that was always there, grew even stronger.

Symphony No. 2 in D has both; its the longest symphony he wrote, with that great melody emerging in the final movement without a pause after the third movement, and it also evokes that mysterious sense of uninhabited natural landscapes that was unique to Sibelius.

Join me for Sibelius on Symphony @ 7 on Classical 101.

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