Jean Sibelius Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43

The second symphony is the most popular and most frequently recorded of Sibelius's symphonies. It is more skilfully orchestrated than the first symphony. The ideas of form are more mature and the violent Finnish gloom is replaced by a more classical touch and by the light of the Mediterranean. The heroic and optimistic first and final movements of the symphony were exactly what the Finnish public needed in 1902, during a period of Russian oppression. The first public performance consolidated Sibelius's fame as a national hero. Soon the symphony was also triumphantly acclaimed abroad. Jean Sibelius's Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43 was started in winter 1901 in Rapallo, Italy, and finished in 1902 in Finland. It was first performed by the Helsinki Philharmonic Society on 8 March 1902, with the composer conducting. After the first performance, Sibelius made some revisions, and the revised version was given its first performance by Armas Järnefelt on 10 November 1903 in Stockholm.


VIDEO: Jean Sibelius - Symphony No. 2 in D Major Op. 43 (1902), Mvt. 1 and 2 (Leonard Bernstein)


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