The organ has a number of roles in this work dating from 1993, and the symphonic form deviates from the norm. Of special interest is the broad musical dramaturgy by means of which the symphony holds the listener's undivided attention and concentration from beginning to end. This work focuses on the fundamental issues in the life and experience of the individual. As Thomas Roth in Musik och Ljudteknik put it, "The epilogue is a tranquil song about light and peace and definitely the most beautiful that ever ended any symphony since Honegger's Symphonie Liturgique... The music bids farewell in an absolutely enchanting way, and I find myself sitting there in a deeply moved state with an enormous feeling of happiness swelling up inside me. Aho's 8th symphony is a masterpiece of great dignity. His way of binding the parts together and varying and developing the material is simply masterful."