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Karl Collan

Born January 3, Iisalmi. Died September 12, 1871, Helsinki

Master of Arts 1850, Licentiate 1860 and PhD 1864, Imperial Alexander University

Librarian 1866–71, Imperial Alexander University Library
Librarian 1858–64, Student Library
Lecturer of German 1859–66, Imperial Alexander University
Amanuensis extraordinary 1852–53, Imperial Alexander University Library
Teacher 1849, 1852–60, Helsingfors fruntimmersskola
Teacher 1845. 1856–57, 1859, Helsinki Lyceum

Acting curator of the Faculty of History and Literature 1859–60
Treasurer of the Finnish Literature Society 1856–62

Photo: Museovirasto
Written by Tomas Sjöblom
Translated by Matthew Billington

Sylvia's Christmas Song

The today by far the best known composition of Karl Collan is Sylvian joululaulu or Sylvia's Christmas Song, from 1855. In this article you can listen to two very different arrangements of the classic, considered the most beautiful Finnish Christmas carol ever written.

Turku University Choir

In this video the Turku University Choir sing Sylvian joululaulu in St Michael's Church in Turku in 2013.


A somewhat less traditional version of Sylvian joululaulu. An arrangement of the classic by the metal band Viikate from their record Vuoden synkin juhla ('The Grimmest Holiday of the Year').


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