Symphony No. 3 (Sibelius)

Symphony No. 3 (Sibelius)

Symphony No. 3 (Sibelius)

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The Symphony No. 3 in C major, Op. 52, by Jean Sibelius is a symphony in three movements composed in 1907. Coming between the romantic intensity of Sibelius's first two symphonies and the more austere complexity of his later symphonies, it is a good-natured, triumphal, and deceptively simple-sounding piece. The symphony's first performance was given by the Helsinki Philharmonic Society, conducted by the composer, on 25 September 1907. In the same concert, his suite from the incidental music to Belshazzar's Feast, Op. 51, was also performed for the first time.

The first recording featured the great Finnish conductor Robert Kajanus leading the London Symphony Orchestra, for the HMV label in January 1934.


The Third symphony represents a turning point in Sibelius's symphonic output. His First and Second symphonies are grandiose Romantic and patriotic works. The Third, however, shows a distinct, almost Classical desire to contain the largest amount of musical material in the fewest possible melodic figures, harmonies, and durations. This musical economy is most apparent in the first movement, almost reminiscent of Beethoven in its clear and cleanly developed sections; a typical performance runs slightly under half an hour.


  1. Allegro moderato
  2. Andantino con moto, quasi allegretto
  3. Moderato - Allegro ma non tanto

The symphony opens with a strident and rhythmic melody in the cellos and double basses, after the announcement of which the brass and the...
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