The Fifth Symphony was written in 1985, 23 years after its predecessor, the Arabescata Symphony. This symphony constitutes a synthesis of the modernistic tendencies of the Fourth and the romanticism of the Third Symphony. The work breaks down into eight clearly defined sections and the overall form could be compared to a widening spiral. The Fifth Symphony, with its orchestral richness and its large spans, crowns Rautavaara's symphonic cycle in masterly fashion. It is almost as if the work aspires towards sometehing far wider and more universal, leading the listener towards new worlds and new realities.