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Salonen on Sibelius: 'Finlandia'

Jean Sibelius.
Jean Sibelius.

The symphonic poem Finlandia by Jean Sibelius has become a deeply felt expression of patriotism for Finns. Sibelius had more modest intentions for the piece: He wrote it in 1899 for a rally defending freedom of the press. Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen joins Performance Today's Fred Child to talk about the origins of the work, and what it means to Finns today. Then, Salonen puts his philosophy of the piece into action. He leads a performance of Finlandia with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

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