On April 13 and 14, the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra in Washington State will perform Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 and Sibelius’s Finlandia in a program entitled “Rebellion!” The Dvořák symphony, written in 1885, was inspired by the political struggles of the Czech people, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to establish their own nation. Finlandia, written in 1899, depicts episodes in Finnish history and was first performed under other names to avoid censorship by the Russian Empire. In a press release, Music Director Mario Alejandro Torres said, “Finlandia is so powerful and so evocative of Finnish identity, that words were added to the solemn hymn-like middle section to become the unofficial national anthem. What amazes me the most is how descriptive its musical themes are and what they represent. The introduction of the piece represents the distant, ominous Russian Empire, while the brisk and driving middle passage is said to express, ‘Rally Finns, fight the oppressors!’ ”

Posted April 11, 2019