From Finland with love

Land of lakes. © Charles Thibo

I had been waiting for so long. Going to Finland! Yes! My former biology teacher regularly passed his holidays in Finland, his daughters have Sami names if my memory does nokt betray me, and if you gave him the right keyword he would launch into an eulogy of the landscape, the people, their traditions, the peace and the solitude. Though his enthusiasm secretly amused us at the time, his passion had moved me and left a lasting impression. But somehow I didn’t find an occasion to go there – until last year.

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Diving with the nymphs in an ocean of blue

Infinity. © Charles Thibo

A few years ago I crossed the Atlantic in a plane, flying home from Buenos Aires. I woke up around sunrise over the ocean, halfway home. I did not see the sun since the plane headed east. I saw something much more spectacular: a world in blue. The blue of the ocean fazed out into the blue of the atmosphere. By the clouds you could guess where the horizon actually was, but I was not much interested in that. It probably was one of the most beautiful things I had ever witnessed. I could not detach my eyes from it, I lost myself in this blue infinity.

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Taught by the conductor of a Czarist military band

gbnfgn © Charles Thibo
Sibelius’ family played chamber music at home. © Charles Thibo

The Scandinavian landscape and the love for his home country were the most important source of inspiration of this composer: Jean Sibelius. This remarkable composer from Finland has written in 1903 the beautiful Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 47. It was performed for the first time in 1905 in Berlin under Richard Strauss, and is part of the repertoire of many violinists. One recording that I would like to recommend is the one by Lisa Batiashvili and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

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