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On demand: Sibelius' Symphony no. 7 in C major

KonserthusetPlayRecorded at Konserthuset Stockholm: Stora Salen, Stockholm, Sweden

The Symphony no. 7 in C major is the high point of Sibelius’ chain of symphonies. In his own words, the piece is filled with “joy of life and vitality”.

Initially, Sibelius had intended to create a work in several movements, but in the summer of 1923, at the beginning of his most intensive period of composition, he had a new idea: it would only be one movement. He first called it “Fantasia sinfonica 1”, which was its title at the world premiere with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. The following day, he wrote home to his wife, Aino: “The concert yesterday was a huge success. My new piece is probably one of my best. Powerful in sound and ‘colour’”.

Sibelius changed his mind and incorporated the piece into his series of previous symphonies. Sibelius’ Symphony no. 7 is now often called the world’s most perfect symphony. A magical shimmer imbues this phenomenal piece of music, and its majestically beautiful and jubilant melodies have made it one of his most beloved.

Sibelius himself directed the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra at the world premiere in 1924 at Konserthuset Stockholm. In this concert video, watch Sibelius’ fellow countryman and Chief Conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra Sakari Oramo in a magnificent interpretation of this epic piece.

Filmed in January 2018.

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