Leonard Bernstein, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded at Vienna's Musikvereinssaal. Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) is Finland's most important symphonic composer. Influenced by German and Russian Romanticism and stamped as a nationalistic composer, he wrote many orchestral works, including seven symphonies, which show a distinct leaning towards subjectively colored "mood music" and atmospheric expressiveness. The symphonies give away their secrets only reluctantly. Their vast scope recalls the openness of the Finnish countryside. Written not long after his celebrated tone poem "Finlandia," Sibelius's Second Symphony is a work that is still unabashedly in the romantic vein and soon became considered by the Finns as a battle hymn against the Russian oppressor and the musical expression of their nationalist aspirations. It was premiered in Helsinki on 8 March 1902.