Finland is 100 today and the music goes on and on

Finland is 100 today and the music goes on and on


norman lebrecht

December 06, 2017

The national colours are blue and white.

The nation was defined by Jean Sibelius in 1899.

Today, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Hannu Lintu, will perform two world premieres:
Lotta Wennäkoski: Untill the Dreams and Magnus Lindberg: Tempus fugit, followed by the Kullervo-symphony by Sibelius, with 150 singers from the Estonian national male choir and the Finnish Polytech Choir.

Watch it live here from 1300 GMT. Listen to it from your sauna.

Love Finland.



  • Dorset Dick says:

    Is that a photo of Lotta and Magnus ?

  • Mike Schachter says:

    I was in Helsinki at conference 3 months ago and there was a huge street party for the centenary. At one point an unseen person sand the vocal version of Finlandia (which Sibelius did not like). Really moving.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    Great click-bait. Another penny in the coffers

  • Andreas B. says:

    not only is the sauna the most tired cliche for Finland, but I also have the impression that a considerable amount of entries on this blog seem to be illustrated with some sort of sexualized picture or headline (e.g. numerous chests of female artists, the droll ANUS stories, to name but a few) – however far fetched or irrelevant to the actual content.

    the calls for more gender and racial equality (VPO …) and the reporting about sexual abuse incidents in these editorial surroundings seem somehow unfortunate to me.

  • Christopher Culver says:

    “I also have the impression that a considerable amount of entries on this blog seem to be illustrated with some sort of sexualized picture or headline.”

    Our proprietor here is a famous tabloid journalist. That is the niche that he has filled for decades now: looking at classical music not from the lens of more stodgy journalism, but instead tabloidism and sensation. So, what do you expect?

    • Andreas B. says:

      I know, I know –
      and it’s for free, so one shouldn’t complain …

      it’s just that I’m getting increasingly tired of it – which is a pity, because sometimes slippedisc does provide new insights and some of the comments can be well informed and interesting, as well.

      I for one would be more than happy to click on articles even without the gratuitous imagery and double entendres …

      perhaps I wouldn’t have commented at all, but with the current Levine frenzy I found it rather more disturbing and distasteful than usual.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Why not post instead of the sauna picture this amazing clip of group singing of Sibelius’ Finlandia hymn?
    That would have been more to the point. Where are the high journalistic standards you rightly wrote about in another recent blog?

    I have to concede, however, that the woman in this picture looks gorgeous.

    • Bruce says:

      I was just going to look for that link to post 🙂

      And I have to concede that the man in the picture isn’t bad-looking either 😉

  • Arthur says:

    Well I personally have never experienced a coed sauna… perhaps they are accustomed to it in Finland. I thought it was very inappropriate in this website especially at this time with the terrible news about Levine.

  • Bruce says:

    Here’s a beautiful choral version:

  • Bruce says:

    Maybe it comes from working in a hospital where you see it all whether you want to or not, but I just ignore the “sexualized” photo content. It’s irrelevant, immature, and not worth paying attention to (although I can see that’s exactly why people object to it).

    Reminds me of this article from the underappreciated site Throwcase:

  • Andreas Carpen says:

    The Magnus Lindberg premiere, though seemingly loved by his friends and fans in the Finnish press, kind of confirms my fears as a listener and fan of some of his earlier oeuvre: He’s spent the last fifteen or so years basically providing a high-profile orchestra with expensive, luxuriously orchestrated “essays” that are nearly indistinguishable from each other*, mostly devoid of musical expression or creativity, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future as long as his old friends in high positions (e.g. Salonen and Rattle) and orchestras keep commissioning them. In recent times, he’s unfortunately also started to copy golden-age Hollywood at its most saccharine, and in particular the recent song cycle Accused was downright bizarre if not tasteless, setting texts from the interrogations of political prisoners atop Korngoldian glitz.

    *) For proof of this, one can listen to the premiere of Tempus Fugit back-to-back with recordings of the Concerto for Orchestra (2002-2003) and Al largo (2008-2009). The motivic material and forms are so similar that segments separated by grand pauses could be cut-and-pasted from one of the works to another without making any difference to the non-expert listener.