A Symphony That Contains Everything, A Symphony Like The World.

Lake Keitele, Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1905)

Of course it’s Mahler, not Sibelius, who said the symphony must be like the world:

Sibelius said of the symphonic form, “I admired its style and severity of form, and the profound logic that created an inner connection between all the motives. . . . Mahler’s opinion was just the opposite. “No!” he said, “The symphony must be like the world. It must be all-embracing.” [cite]

I have just listened, again, to a gorgeous performance of Sibelius’s Seventh Symphony. I would posit, no matter what Sibelius might have thought, that this symphony, in under 23 minutes, contains the world.

Here it is. You be the judge.

With thanks to David Nice for noting this performance as part of his excellent Sibelius course.