Jean Sibelius (1865 – 1957) was a Finnish composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early-modern period.

We first heard the music of Sibelius on the blog back in April. You can remind yourself of it here. Today’s extract comes from a longer piece called Karelia Music which was written for a student group at the Imperial Alexander University in Helsinki, Finland, and premiered in 1893. Sibelius was passionate about the importance of the Karelia region of Finland as it was said to be the home of the oldest and most respected aspects of Finnish culture.

The Karelia Suite is one of his most popular works, and has its roots in folk music. Today’s extract is from the Intermezzo movement. It has been described as ‘a jaunty movement intended to depict the procession of Karelian workers paying taxes to Duke Narimont of Lithuania’. Listen out for the march-like theme which reflects this.

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