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More about Justin K. Reeve:
Justin Reeve is a native of Utah, and has played the piano for over 30 years. When he was young, his mother made him begrudgingly practice an hour a day and wouldn't let him quit his lessons. Eventually Justin's attitude changed and he began loving the piano and creating his own music. He loves performing in the community, and has done so for social gatherings, conferences, devotionals, assisted living centers, and is a regular pianist at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden. Outside his music, Justin is a software engineer and educational technology consultant, and a husband and father of four.
Song background:

This instrumental arrangement came while I was thinking about all those we’ve lost to COVID and other causes the past year. This is a tribute to those people we’ve personally known, and all those we didn’t and now will never have the chance to.

Solo and accompaniment tracks available at: https://music.justinreeve.com/be-still-my-soul-elegy/

In the late 1600s and early 1700s, Germany was predominantly Lutheran and experiencing a religious movement known as the Pietistic Revival. The Pietists emphasized living a virtuous Christian life, and encouraged their followers to express their devotion by writing hymns.

Katharina Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel was part of this movement, and likely came from an aristocratic family. She also may have belonged to an evangelical women's seminary. Born in 1697, Katharina was a talented published poet and penned at least 20 hymns, including "Be Still, My Soul." The text was sung to many different tunes, but it wasn't until the 20th century that it was paired with its current melody.

Johann Julius Christian Sibelius, later known as Jean Sibelius, was a Finnish composer and violinist credited with having helped Finland create a national identity in the early 20th century during its struggle for independence from Russia. In 1899, he wrote a symphonic poem as a covert protest against Russian censorship. While much of the piece is energetic, representing the Finnish people's national struggle, toward the end the serene melody of "Finlandia" is introduced. "Finlandia" became a national favorite when Sibelius reworked it into a standalone piece. Sibelius composed prolifically, but he also spent time reworking many of his old compositions. In 1927, Katharina's hymn text was paired with "Finlandia," and it remains the most well-known musical melody for the hymn today.

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