Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Sibelius Monument

Here's one of the few pictures I got of Rob. He spent most of his time faithfully recording our trip with the camera while I soaked it all in. But at the Sibelius Monument, I insisted he get in a shot.

The monument is for one of the most (if not the most) celebrated composer from Finland, Jean Sibelius. Above is the part that looks like organ pipes in the air. It's really beautiful.

Nearby is the sculpture showing his face.

The inscription is in three languages: Finnish on top, Swedish in the middle, and English on the bottom. In English it reads:

Monument to commemorate the composer Jean Sibelius (1863–1957)

The piece he's most famous for is "The Finlandia," which is a national patriotic song of Finland (comparable to "America the Beautiful" or "Battle hymn of the Republic" in the States, but not the national anthem).

The tune is now used in the LDS hymnal with different lyrics as "Be Still My Soul." Every time I sing it at church, I'm brought back to Finland. (And I have an urge to sing the real words in Finnish!)

I tried to find a spot where there's a clip of the music online, but couldn't locate one. However, I did discover that "The Finlandia" has been used on movie soundtracks like The Clone Wars and Die Hard 2.

Somehow, that seems so wrong . . .

On a whim, we trotted across the street to another park to see this statue, which shows a moment from The Kalevala, the book of Finnish mythology. The woman in the statue is Ilmatar (queen of the air), and I believe the scene is connected to the creation of the world. (The bird lays an egg on her knee, and it breaks apart to form various parts of the world. I think.)

The inscription above says it's from the Kalevala and was given by Leo and Regina Wainstein in 1959 to the city of Helsinki.

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