Sibelius - Andante Festivo

It began as a string quartet, but Sibelius' Andante Festivo eventually became a symphonic masterpiece.

Sibelius originally scored this rousing music for string quartet in 1922. Featuring the composer's impassioned string writing, the unmistakable hummable tune was made all the more luscious when he rescored the piece for string orchestra and timpani in 1938. It's a remarkable work, combining a rich sonority with a sense of poignance — not to mention majesty.

He's better known for his symphonic works like Finlandia, but the fact that this particular piece began its life as a string quartet shows that some of his biggest ideas had the smallest origins.

Classic FM Apps

Get the Classic FM app for iPhone, iPad and Android - now with HD audio

Musical abbreviations quiz

You won’t get 20/20 on this quiz if you don’t know your musical abbreviations

musician would you rather

This musician edition of Would You Rather is completely excruciating

greatest best man speech

Everyone is saying this pianist gave the greatest best man speech of all time