Jean Sibelius - from Finland. This is from his 7th symphony - classical in every sense of the word. Yet it is so very modern (just one wonderful, unbounded flow, disregarding "movements" of the traditional symphony). This was first heard in 1924, between two world wars, when there was some hope, and Finland as a nation had recently re-gained its independence (from Russia).
By the way, Sibelius is of course from Finland, but did you know that his "mother tongue" was Swedish? Even today, school children in Finland learn both languages, in addition to English. And there are amazing poets and writers from Finland, who wrote in such beautiful Swedish, much more lovely than anyone I can think of in my own language, such as Johan Ludvig Runeberg, son of a sea captain. Finnish is similar to Hungarian, with roots going back to ancient Altaic languages, such as Japanese and Korean?
More precisely, Ural-Altaic came to subgroup Finno-Ugric and Samoyedic as "Uralic" and Turkic, Mongolic, and Tungusic as "Altaic", with Korean sometimes added to Altaic, and less often Japanese.
Nicholas Poppe considered the issue of the relationship of Korean to Turkic-Mongolic-Tungusic as not settled. In his view, there were three real possibilities: (1) Korean did not belong with the other three genealogically, but had been influenced by an Altaic substratum; (2) Korean was related to the other three at the same level they were related to each other; (3) Korean had split off from the other three before they underwent a series of characteristic changes. Poppe leaned toward the third possibility, but did not commit himself to it in this work.
Roy Andrew Miller's 1971 book Japanese and the Other Altaic Languages convinced most Altaicists that Japanese also belonged to Altaic. Since then, the standard set of languages included in the Altaic hypothesis has comprised Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, Korean, and Japanese.
Whatever. We really base our notion of "self" on very limited information. My passsort says one thing, but how about 100 years ago, or 1000? Actually, from Japan to the Nordic countries doesn't really feel that far.
With global warming, we may soon have the ice gone and the long sought for northern passage between Asia and Scandinavia could become a busy sea route!
In Sibelius' days, ships from Sweden and Finland, or ships with captains or crews from our parts of the globetrotting world, used to frequently go all the way to the Far East. Hey! Since the time of the vikings, we do like to travel.
Symphony No. 7, in C major (1924)
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, Sweden, September 1992
Part I of III
Part II of III
Part III of III