Jean Sibelius, continued
Against the larger context of the rise of the Fennoman movement and its expressions of Romantic Nationalism, his family decided to send him to a Finnish language school, and he attended The Hämeenlinna Normal-lycée from 1876 to 1885. Romantic Nationalism was to become a crucial element in Sibelius' artistic output and his politics.
The core of Sibelius' oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies. Like Beethoven, Sibelius used each one both to develop a single musical idea and to develop further his own personal compositional style. These works continue to be performed frequently in the concert hall and are often recorded.
In addition to the Symphonies, Sibelius' best-known compositions include Finlandia, Valse Triste, the Violin Concerto, the Karelia Suite and The Swan of Tuonela (one of the four movements of the Lemminkäinen Suite). Other works include pieces inspired by the Kalevala, over 100 songs for voice and piano, incidental music for 13 plays, the opera Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the Tower), chamber music, piano music, 21 separate publications of choral music, and Masonic ritual music. Sibelius composed prolifically until the mid-1920s. However, soon after completing his Seventh Symphony (1924) and the tone poem Tapiola (1926), he stopped composing altogether; this lasted for the remaining thirty years of his life.