A few years ago I indulged the fantasy that most interesting Nordic music written in the last nine decades was, to some extent, a reaction to Sibelius’s symphonic poem Tapiola (1926). In my mind, Sibelius’s score had come to embody the very essence of both an ending and a beginning; its ultimate tabula rasa, in a purifying B major, representing not just a semi-conscious prelude to the composer’s own three-decade silence but also a laying of the ground for a new aesthetic, one for the coming generations to define.
Nature won’t protect you anymore
Composers used to celebrate nature for its idyll and comfort; but with climate change and the current outbreak of coronavirus, it seems as if nature has turned on us. That shows in Nordic contemporary music with sonic tales of decay, apocalypse, and protest.