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Songs and Seasons: Spring Dreams, Summer Fires, Winter Nights

BBC SO Total Immersion: Sibelius the Storyteller

Black and white photo of Jean Sibelius

Explore Finland’s choral tradition, as Owain Park and the BBC Singers present songs and poetry by Sibelius, his pupils, and their Finnish contemporaries. 

‘What came to still that mighty voice, whose song was so great and graceful?’ No artist works in isolation, and Sibelius’s struggle to tell Finland’s stories opened a path for a generation of his compatriots. The BBC Singers perform radiant, intensely romantic partsongs by two of Sibelius’s most gifted pupils, as well as Sibelius’s own, sensuous Rakastava (The Lover).

It’s a world of changing seasons, of glowing landscapes and – burning beneath the music’s lush textures and radiant harmonies – an unmistakable passion. Toivo Kuula died tragically young, just months after Finland won its independence; Madetoja went on to follow in Sibelius’s footsteps as a symphonist. But their choral music, like Sibelius’s own, finds them making music for (and with) their fellow-Finns: and speaking straight from the heart. 

This performance will end at approximately 6.30pm

Produced by the BBC Symphony Orchestra

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Milton Court Concert Hall