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Aulis Sallinen can be justly regarded as the natural successor to the greatest Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. After early experimentation with serialism, he adopted a clear, diatonic style that often evokes the cold expanse of Finnish landscapes. With a strong sense of national identity, Finnish traditional melodies often appear in Sallinen’s works, and the subject matter of several of his six operas draws on the history and folklore of that country, such as
The Red Line
, set against the backdrop of the first Finnish national election, or
based on the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala.
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