Beautiful and Haunting
Finnish mythology provided the inspiration for Sibelius’ beautiful and haunting Swan of Tuonela. Guardian of the underworld, the swan glides over the mysterious black waters of lake Tuonela, the dominion of the dead. One of the most evocative pieces of illustrative music ever written, The Swan of Tuonela conjures up a strange and otherworldly realm.
There’s something to be said for the freshness and vitality of youth. Richard Strauss was aged only 18 when he composed his glittering First Horn Concerto and Schubert was scarcely older when he wrote his melodious Fifth Symphony. Both composers were immersed in music from a young age and knew a thing or two about writing for orchestra, a fact made clear in these consummate works.