Karelia Suite Op. 11 (1893)
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
- Alla marcia
Although also a major contributor to the development of the symphony in the 20th century, Finnish composer Jean Sibelius is famous for his nationalistic works dating from when Finland was dominated by Russia. The Karelia Suite is a collection of individual pieces written in this period. Sibelius wrote them as incidental music for an historical pageant performed by students of the Helsinki University in Viborg in the province of Karelia, where Sibelius had just spent his honeymoon.
The Intermezzo is a march featuring a “snap” rhythm and portrays a procession of people paying taxes to a Lithuanian lord. In the wistful Ballade, the 15th C Swedish King Knutsson is being entertained by a bard, represented by the languid cor anglais. The concluding rousing march accompanied a tableau of a none too violent castle siege!
Performed: 1985, Sep 2011, 15 Nov 2015