Although he withdraw it a year after its successful premiere, Sibelius's early Kullervo symphony is laced with the atmosphere and creativeness that would characterise his later works, coupled with a tragic tale from Finnish folklore.
Kullervo recounts the story of its eponymous hero. After alonely childhood, Kullervo grows up to become a determined warrior. He seduces a girl only to discover she is his long-lost sister and in remorse throws himself on his sword. Despite the tragedy, the work evokes the beauty of the Finnish countryside is an orchestral tour-de-force, offering stunning cameos for its soloists and chorus.
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