Finlandia, Op. 26 is a symphonic poem by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Written in 1899 as a covert protest against the increasing censorship from the Russian Empire over the Finnish people. 

Finlandia was premiered on July 2, 1900 in Helsinki, played by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. The conductor during it’s premiere was Robert Kajanus (December 1856- July 1933). As a composer and conductor himself he had the great honour of conducting Finlandia for the first time. Robert Kajanus was the most prominent composer of his time before Sibelius started to write music for orchestras and choirs. The duration of the song is typically between seven and ten minutes long depending on which tempo the conductor decides the song to be played. 


Robert Kajanus represents the older generation of composers active in the 1930s

Due to the censorship of the Russian Empire being so strong, Finlandia had to be performed under alternative names to skim under the Russians radar. Titles under which Finlandia was performed were numerous, but the most famous examples of them all are Happy Feelings at the awakening of Finnish Spring, and A Scandinavian Choral March.

At the beginning of the piece the listener is given the shock treatment with turbulent music and chaos describing the struggle of Finnish people. Slowly but steadily the music drifts towards happier and peaceful times ending up with the most famous Finlandia Hymn. At this point of Finlandia the war has ended and the Finnish people can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 


The opening motive of Finlandia. 

A couple of decades later Sibelius wrote the Finlandia Hymn as a stand-alone piece. This hymn became one of the most important song for the Finnish people as it tells the tale of how against all odds the Finnish people survived the war and achieved it’s independence. The words for Finlandia Hymn was written by Veikko Antero Koskenniemi.

Apart from Finlandia being an incredibly important song to the Finnish people it has been used in different situations. The Finlandia Hymn was briefly the national anthem of the short-lived African state of Biafra. It is also sung to the same melody as a national song of Wales, the anthem of   St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa and also Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawaii

The original movements are as follows:

Preludium: Andante (ma non troppo)

Tableau 1: The Song of Väinämöinen

Tableau 2: The Finns are Baptized by Bishop Henry

Tableau 3: Scene from Duke Johan's Court

Tableau 4: The Finns in the Thirty Years' War

Tableau 5: The Great Hostility

Tableau 6: Finland Awakes (later reworked as Finlandia)


Buy your Sibelius Finland Experience tickets HERE !!!

In 1899 #JeanSibelius composed #Finlandia, which became one of the most important songs for the Finnish...

Posted by - Sibelius Finland Experience on Thursday, July 30, 2015

— July 5, 2017

Sibelius Guests Comments on Viator

William A June 2017 Delightful concert with charming and enthusiastic commentary. Lovely.

— May 31, 2017

FANTASTIC! GO FINLAND! - Molla, Manchester

"Kanonbra" Vigdis, Kirkenes " Hieno konsertti ja esitys. Kannatti tulla Kokkolasta ü" Marja...

— January 19, 2017

SFE Selected as Culture Travel Finland Top20 Product in 2016

Finpro Visit Finland selected Sibelius Finland Experience as Top 20 Cultural Product for 2016. 234 Finnish companies applied for…

— September 2, 2016

Positive Customer Feedback to Sibelius Finland Experience

Tauk Travel Agent Customer survey brought generally very positive feedback on their Sibelius Finland Experience visit during the…

— August 24, 2016

SFE Announcing Continuity

Sibelius Finland Experience summer season ends on September 15th 2016 at 12:30. Sibelius is very proud to announce…

— June 20, 2016

Irina Kamalova

She is an active performer in the musical life of Finland. / Hän toimii aktiivisena muusikkona Suomen musiikkielämässä.

— June 17, 2016

Sibelius production magic for all ages

I have chosen the music, films and pictures for kids as well. / Valitsin musiikin, filmit ja kuvat siten, että ne soveltuvat…

— June 7, 2016

Emilia Karjunen

Just completed her Master of Music degree at the Sibelius Academy with the very best grades. / Valmistui talvella 2015 musiikin…

— May 26, 2016

Viking Line

The event Sibelius Finland Experience got its new partner Viking Line. / Sibelius Finland Experience är mycket glad att…

— May 17, 2016

Pianist Joel Papinoja

Joel Papinoja will start on the 15th of May the series of Sibelius Finland Experience / Joel Papinoja aloittaa 15.5. Sibelius…

— May 15, 2016

Grand Opening

An authentic cultural live music experience will be presented daily from 15th of May till 15th of September. / Laadukas live…

— May 12, 2016

Snellman Day

Day of Finnishness in Finland is celebrated on the 12th of May / Suomalaisuuden päivä eli J.V. Snellmanin päivä 12.5.

— May 11, 2016

BBC visited Sibelius Finland Experience

On Monday BBC visited us in the National Hall Helsinki. / BBC kuvausryhmä tekivät ennakkotutkimuksen Kansallissalissa.

— May 8, 2016

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. / Äitienpäivä vietetään toukokuun toisena sunnuntaina.

— May 5, 2016

Ascension Day

The Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, also known as Ascension Thursday / 5.5. 2016 on pyhäpäivä…

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