Finlandia, Op. 26, is a tone poem by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. It was written in 1899 and revised in 1900. The piece was composed for the Press Celebrations of 1899, a covert protest against increasing censorship from the Russian Empire, and was the last of seven pieces performed as an accompaniment to a tableau depicting episodes from Finnish history. The premiere was on 2 July 1900 in Helsinki with the Helsinki Philharmonic Society conducted by Robert Kajanus. A typical performance takes between 7½ and 9 minutes depending on how it is performed.
In order to avoid Russian censorship, Finlandia had to be performed under alternative names at various musical concerts. Titles under which the piece masqueraded were numerous and often confusing —famous examples include Happy Feelings at the awakening of Finnish Spring, and A Scandinavian Choral March.
Most of the piece is taken up with rousing and turbulent music, evoking the national struggle of the Finnish people. Towards the end, a calm comes over the orchestra, and the serene and melodic Finlandia Hymn is heard. Often incorrectly cited as a traditional folk melody, the Hymn section is of Sibelius' own creation.
Performances & Interviews
- BBC SSO & Big Noise: Sibelius - Finlandiahttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02q9ybw.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02q9ybw.jpg2015-04-24T13:33:00.000ZOn the 8th of March 2015 young performers from Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise project in Raploch joined forces with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p02px1nw
BBC SSO & Big Noise: Sibelius - FinlandiaOn the 8th of March 2015 young performers from Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise project in Raploch joined forces with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
- Finlandiahttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05smlv4.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05smlv4.jpg2008-01-15T13:30:00.000ZSibelius' composition of 1899 was adopted by the Finnish people as a symbol of its fight for independence from Russia. From January 2008.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/b008nz60
FinlandiaSibelius' composition of 1899 was adopted by the Finnish people as a symbol of its fight for independence from Russia. From January 2008.