I don't know whether to call this morning's selections "upbeat" or just plain "offbeat", but I decided to have a little mixed classical/modern/rock/metal fun, with a few wild cards thrown in.
Jean Sibelius' tone poem "Finlandia" has, since its first performance in 1900, been beloved by Finns. He later reworked its final section into the stand-alone "Finlandia Hymn", which has been performed in many ways on many instruments, used as the melody for a number of hymns and anthems, and has become iconic in its own right.
Let's begin with a performance of the entire piece by the BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Chorus and the BBC Symphony Orchestra for the 100th anniversary celebration of Finland's independence from Russia in 1917.
Let's continue with a number of different renditions of the "Finlandia Hymn", descending gradually from the musical to the farcical.
Here's a performance of the piece by Jason Carter on a harp guitar, a rather strange instrument combining both of its musical "ancestors" into a unique offspring. I must admit, it sounds attractive.
Want something a little more unusual for a classical piece? Here's Finnish goth/heavy metal group Nightwish with Uillean pipes performer Troy Donockley.
I'm not sure what Sibelius would have thought about the long hair and headbanging!
Next up, here's Finnish symphonic metal group Apocalyptica with Lauri Porra.
There's a one-man band in Finland calling himself "Megaraptor", and classifying his music as "Folk metal - Industrial metal - Melodic death metal - Power metal - Symphonic metal - Technical death metal - Metal". Sounds schizophrenic to me, but still . . . He's produced this version of the Finlandia Hymn.
The Red Army Choir and Orchestra produced this version of the Finlandia Hymn in 1994. This recording isn't a full version, unfortunately, but it's the only one I could find.
Another solo Finnish performer is Sam Zimon. He's produced this techno version of the Finlandia Hymn.
And last, and probably least (!), here's the Finlandia Hymn performed on four electric toothbrushes!
There you go. From the sublime to the ridiculous!