Jean Sibelius


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Sibelius's stunning tone poem is down two places

Sibelius' celebrated nationalistic tone poem, Finlandia, was originally perceived as an attack on Russian censorship in Finland when it was first performed. Sensing that this wasn't ideal, Sibelius later reworked the central part of the piece into a Finlandia Hymn, with words by Finnish poet Koskenniemi; 'Oh, Finland, behold your day is dawning.' Those were apt words in 1941 and, despite having a slightly less catchy original title of Suomi Her ('Finland Awakens'), a diplomatic crisis was averted. Good thing too, as Finlandia remains incredibly popular to this day.