If we understood the world, we would realise that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances.

— Jean Sibelius

 

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) is the patron saint of Finnish music, the composer who, more than any other, has described for the world the cold, crisp, fresh, pristine northern natural landscape in music. His Finlandia Hymn is the unofficial national anthem of Finland. In seven symphonies, dozens of programmatic orchestral pieces, and many more piano and chamber music works, Sibelius embedded his world.

Read the quote again. Although I do not know the context for this quote, it is clear that Sibelius had little, if any, religious training. Yet the substance of the quote reveals the core of the Trinitarian reality: the logic of harmony underlying dissonance. Music, and its pursuit – inspired by the Spirit – revealed this profound connection. This statement is worthy of a lifetime of contemplation, theological and musical. Consider it as you listen to Sibelius’ music this week.

 

ST#153 – Sibelius