Sibelius' set of Scenes Historiques forms two suites. The music was written for a patriotic pageant, staged in 1899, at a time of rising Finnish nationalism. It originally included Finlandia but it was published separately and isolated later.
Scene Historiques I was written about the time of the First Symphony and it is reminiscent of it. The orchestration is lush as it picks up energy going along, closing with an allegro. Scenes Historiques II was composed around the time of the Fourth Symphony. The opening of the second suite evokes the spirit of the A Minor Symphony in much the same way that Scenes Historique I Suite is emotionally related to the E Minor First Symphony. These Scenes last for about an hour and are an excellent traversal of seldom heard Sibelius.
Gothenburg Radio Neeme Jarvi