This a work for male choir and orchestra with a narrator in the background. It was written along with the Press Celebration Music that gave birth to Finlandia. The work was inspired by a patriotic fervour that came about because of the restrictions placed on the press by means of censorship. This was done by the Russian Governor General of Finland. The work was premiered in October 1899 in Helsinki. It is Op. 30. The words have been written by Zacharias Topelius. Another piece that was written around the same time by Sibelius was the Song of the Athenians. This Song was also with an anti-Russian feeling. The dramatic chords for the brass are reminders of Finlandia. The part for the narrator and the brass fortissimo notes bring about an interesting rhythm.
Lahti Symphony Osmo Vanska