Sibelius loved Finland. One of his most beloved works is Finlandia, which is about the Finnish people overcoming their enemies. Written in 1899, Finlandia is a tone poem – this means it was composed to portray a particular story. It was written in protest against the increasing censorship by the Russian Empire which was taking place in the late 19th Century.
This is music about national identity. It captures not only the vast, majestic landscape of Finland but also its national pride at a crucial moment in the country's history.
How does music reflect our own national identity?