Hannu Lintu conducts Sibelius's Symphony No. 5

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

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Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Hannu Lintu — Conductor

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Finnish maestro Hannu Lintu presents and conducts the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in all seven bold and unique symphonies by their celebrated compatriot Jean Sibelius!

April 21, 1915. Sibelius writes: “Today at ten to eleven I saw 16 swans. One of my greatest experiences! Lord God, what beauty! They circled over me for a long time. Disappeared into the solar haze like a gleaming silver ribbon. Their call the same woodwind type as that of cranes, but without tremolo. The swan-call closer to the trumpet … A low refrain reminiscent of a small child crying. Nature's mysticism and life’s angst! The Fifth Symphony’s finale theme: legato in the trumpets!"

After a Fourth Symphony that responded to twentieth century modernism with daring dissonance, Sibelius seemed to embrace tonality anew in the incontestably expressive and majestic Fifth, one of his crowning achievements: among the work's avowed abstraction, tonality resounds in heart-rending motifs, soaring melodic lines, and the stirring brass choir that bookends the piece, a musical manifestation of the swan sighting that had so moved him months earlier. The work was commissioned by the Finnish government to celebrate the composer’s 50th birthday, marking it as a national holiday, and underwent a couple revisions over the next four years before finding its definitive form in 1919.

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