Voima, ääriviivat ja sinfoninen ykseys
Melartinin viides sinfonia, ”Sinfonia Brevis”, op. 90
The article analyses Erkki Melartin’s Symphony No. 5 "Sinfonia brevis", which was premiered in January 1916. The analysis of the work’s formal and tonal structure shows similarities to another Finnish Symphony No. 5, namely Sibelius’s Symphony that was premiered only a month earlier, in December 1915.
In the article, the analysis focuses on the concept of symphonic unity, i.e., the idea that all four movements in the Symphony are parts of a single process. The most obvious example of this (and the most obvious similarity between the two Symphonies) is the ending of the first movement, which fails to provide a satisfactory closure to the structure. Thus, in both Symphonies, the first two movements form a single overarching trajectory. As Sibelius’s Symphony has been analysed previously by several scholars, the present article concentrates on Melartin’s Symphony providing, in addition to a detailed analysis, a historical context to its aesthetics.