Some musicians reveal their orientation to role models quite clearly, and there are those for whom the individual musical language seems to arise entirely organically from the process of composing. Shostakovich and Sibelius both belong in their own way to that second expression.
When Shostakovich made his first orchestral work public, the Finn was already an established name. The world premiere of Sibelius' first symphony took place before Shostakovich was born. The violin concerto of the Russian composer and the symphony of the Nordic master: they tell, in different ways, of different lives, in different times.
Although both works, and both composers at first glance, have so little in common, the violin concerto on the one hand and the symphony on the other also demonstrate the greatest similarity: an unfettered work ethic for the sake of music.