• Simon Rushby

Symphony No. 5 (3rd movement) by Jean Sibelius

#musiceveryday 16 Nov 2020


For a lot of music students and particularly composers, if you mention 'Sibelius' the mind is immediately drawn to a piece of software used for writing out music. If you google it, that's what you get at the top of the list.

But Sibelius the man, who lived from 1865-1957, was a revered and talented Finnish composer who wrote some of the late 19th and early 20th century's most loved works. Very near - or at - the top of the pile is his monumental 5th Symphony in Eb major, completed in 1919. Sibelius said of it, "It is as if God Almighty had thrown down pieces of a mosaic for heaven's floor and asked me to find out what was the original pattern'.


The final movement is dominated by a horn motif which is said to have been inspired by the calls of swans taking flight. Over this motif you hear one of his most famous melodies in the strings and flutes. The movement contains one of the most uplifting key-changes you will ever hear, and ends with six huge chords played by the entire orchestra.

More to listen to

Sibelius also wrote a famous violin concerto.








One of my personal favourites by Sibelius is his tone poem En Saga.



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© 2019 Simon Rushby