Finland, Op.26, J. Sibelius
Concerto for violin and orchestra in D minor, Op.47, J. Sibelius
Clara-Jumi Kang violin
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Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op.43, J. Sibelius

1.30 h (w/out intermission)

Program notes Jose Antonio Canton

The Finnish composer Jean Sibelius was attracted to music at a young age, first choosing to study the violin when he was 15, later concluding that composition was his real vocation. His overture Finland, premiered on the 4th of November 1899, became an important symbol for the country’s struggle for independence from the Russian empire, and remains a musical emblem of this Scandinavian nation.    
His Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor, composed in 1903, requires technical mastery on the part of the soloist, who thus dominates the music’s discourse. Sibelius revised the Concerto in 1905 when it was presented in Berlin with Richard Strauss as conductor and the Czech virtuoso Karel Halir, overcoming the negative criticism it received at the premiere a year earlier.  
Sibelius’ Second Symphony belongs to his nationalist aesthetic period. He wrote the first drafts during a stay in the Italian city of Rapallo. As stated by the Finnish essayist Karl Flodin, “Jean Sibelius’ Second Symphony is an absolute masterpiece, one of the few present day symphonic creations that points in the same direction as Beethoven’s symphonies.” For those who identify with the symphony’s melodies and the musician’s romantic personality, this piece will always be the best of Sibelius’ repertoire.

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