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Sibelius's popular second symphony, with its grandiose finale, was connected by some with the struggle for Finnish independence, even being dubbed the "Symphony of Independence," as it was written at a time of Russian sanctions on Finnish language and culture. Sibelius's reaction to this has been widely debated; some claim that he had not intended any patriotic message and was purely identified as a nationalist composer, while others believe that he wrote the piece with an independent Finland in mind. Stephen Johnson explores Sibelius's Symphony no.2 in D ahead of a live performance by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
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