For the final two songs of Opus 36, Marssnön
(‘The March snow’) and Demanten på Marssnön
(‘The diamond on the March snow’), Sibelius turned to Josef Julius Wecksell (1838–1907), a Finnish poet writing in Swedish whose work owes something to Heine. He is said to have something of the intensity of Shelley though he succumbed to insanity at a relatively early age. Both poems dwell on the theme of death casting its shadow over the moment of fulfilment.
from notes by Robert Layton © 2002