Symphony No. 7
4A1.mp3 = 1st version of the ending (excerpt) | 4A2.mp3 = 2nd version of the ending (excerpt) | 4A3.mp3 = Final version of the ending (excerpt)
Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Jaakko Kuusisto, cond.
Sibelius worked long and intensively on his Sixth and Seventh Symphonies. He mentioned those works in his diary as early as 1917, before he had finished revising the Fifth Symphony. The Sixth Symphony was finally premièred in Helsinki in 1923, and the Seventh in Stockholm in 1924.
His diary entries tell us that especially the period during which he was working in the Seventh Symphony was very hectic and marked by the consumption of alcohol – at the time of prohibition in Finland.
Many aspects of the Seventh Symphony caused Sibelius headaches. The work's innovative single-movement form was by no means self-evident from the outset; indeed, at the planning stage the composer envisaged a work in three or even four movements. Sibelius experimented with various different endings for the work and also hesitated about the work's title. He also hesitated about the work’s title. When he completed it, he referred to it in his diary as "Fantasia sinfonica I", but in the end it was called "Symphonie Nr. 7 in einem Satz" (in one movement).