"Are we wrong if we hear Sibelius's orchestral music on occasion as an unforgettable metaphor in sound for the Finnish landscape: the huge, dark forests of conifers and birches, the thick drifts of snow on flat or slightly rolling terrain, the endlessly multiplied freshwater lakes, cold and reed-fringed?
"Surely there can be no doubt about the affinity of music and place in Tapiola, his last major composition - to be heard in the festival's final program - which has the domain of the old forest god as its title and lets us hear the swirl and howl of violent weather in its masterly instrumental writing.
It's true that there is nothing in Sibelius's creative persona of the vague, pastel-tinted school of musical nature worship. His tightly structured and tune-haunted music can be listened to wholly for its shape and development, without the slightest reference to real or imaginary scenery."
Artistic Insistence on National Soul