Helping a country form a national identity is no small task, but Finnish-born Jean Sibelius made a major impact on forging a new-world identity in his home country. The extremely gifted musician intertwined stories from his country's national epic poem, called the Kalevala, into his compositions and was regarded as one of Finland's national treasures until his death in 1957. In his early work, Sibelius's work emulated that of Wagner, however Sibelius later rejected the icon's compositional style for being too deliberate. Sibelius's work took on a life and character of its own, dissecting traditional chord structures and utterly remaking them.
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