Commissioned by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force Chubu Band, Saariselkä is a village in a mountainous area of northern Finland, famous for its northern lights (aurora). This tone poem captures the romantic beauty of a nearby forest.The beginning depicts an intense cold world. A beautiful horn melody, woodwind solos and sparkling glockenspiel arpeggios render a vivid impression. A quick tutti climax introduces fast action underscoring the image of the frigid weather as well as the effects of a severe blizzard and violent wind. As the musical drive intensifies, a resounding brass fanfare shifts the pace to the middle section.A lush, romantic interlude reveals the grandeur of the northern lights floating in the tranquil sky. The alluring melody suggests the haunting beauty of Sibelius'Finlandia. Then enters a rollicking 6/8 recapitulation that ultimately combines all of the central themes into a grand tutti conclusion.
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