The Kalevala

            In 1835, Finnish physician and philologist Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884) published the first version of the Finnish national epic, Kalevala. This collection contains stories based on authentic Finnish mythology and folklore texts sung by rune singers.[1] The Kalevala had a profound impact on Finnish Nationalism during a time Finland sought to build a national identity.[2] Characters and stories from this work have been adopted into theater and music, including art song. Jean Sibelius composed at least nine works based on the Kalevala, two of those works for solo voice “Kullervon Valitus” from Kullervo Symphony, op. 7, and Luonnotar, op. 70The text for Luonnotar, comes from the Kalevala’s prologue and is based on the Finnish mythological creation story. 

[1] Pentikäinen, Juha. Kalevala Mythology, p. 2

[2] Ibid, p. 221

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s