FINLANDIA

Composer: Jean Sibelius

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Tune Information

Composer: Jean Sibelius (1899)
Meter: 10.10.10.10.10.10
Incipit: 32343 23122 33234
Key: E♭ Major/F Major
Copyright: P.D. in the U.S. and Canada, © Breitkopf & Härtel in other territories of the world

Notes

In 1899 Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (b. Hameenlina, Tavastehus, Finland, 1865; Jarvenpaa, near Helsingfors, Finland, 1957) wrote a musical score for six historical tableaux in a pageant that celebrated and supported the Finnish press against Russian oppression. In 1900 Sibelius revised the music from the final tableau into FINLANDIA, a tone poem for orchestra. The chorale-like theme that emerges out of the turbulent beginning of this tone poem became the hymn tune. FINLANDIA was first used as a hymn tune in the Scottish Church Hymnary (1927) and the Presbyterian Hymnal (1933). The melody features several repeated and varied melody lines. It is clearly an instrumental tune, but with diligent leadership by organists, congregations can sing the various cadential tones to their proper length. Because of the long lines, accompanists must work to keep the tempo moving. The tune is a glorious setting for harmony singing by choirs. This tune is also often set to the hymn text of Katharina Von Schlegel, "Stille, mein Wille, dein Jesus hilft siegen" ("Be Still, My Soul, The Lord Is On Thy Side") Sibelius began music studies on the piano, then violin, and at one time thought of becoming a concert violinist. But he began composing at the age of ten, and his later career in music was primarily in composition. Finland's most famous composer, Sibelius used native mythology and geography in his composition, which became a rallying point for Finland's nationalism and patriotism. In 1897 the government awarded him a pension for life for his contribution to his country. From 1900 until the outbreak of World War I he traveled extensively in Europe, often as conductor of his own works. In 1914 he visited the United States, where he was a popular conductor, and where he received an honorary degree from Yale University and taught briefly at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He did not compose during the last twenty-six years of his life. Sibelius is known especially for his symphonic music, but he also composed many songs and theater music, as well as music for piano and chamber ensembles. His only compositions for devotional use are Five Christmas Songs (1895-1913) and "You Are Mighty, a Lord" (1927) for mixed choir. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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Instances

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Pages

Include 57 pre-1979 instances
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