"Truly great performances; Bernstein at his magnetic best." - Recording of the Month; www.musicweb-international.com
This new release from BR-Klassik brings together the most well-known works of Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. Included in this disc are Sibelius Symphony No. 2 D Major op. 43, and Finlandia op. 26- Karelia Suite op. 11. The recordings on this album were made during autumn of 2015 in Munich, by The Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. Conducting the orchestra is Mariss Jansons, who is well-known for his interpretation of Nordic music.
Norwegian-born violinist Vilde Frang makes her solo recording debut with Prokofiev's first Violin Concerto and Sibelius' Violin Concerto, plus three of the Finnish composer's Humoresques for violin and piano. With her sweet tone, fluent technique, and soulful interpretations, Frang's performances can stand comparison to many of the great recorded performances of the past. She digs in deep in Sibelius' outer movements and dispatches their manifold difficulties with apparent ease.
The exceptional collaboration and friendship between the late Einojuhani Rautavaara and the internationally acclaimed bass-baritone Gerland Finley culminates in this unique album of orchestral songs by Sibelius, on which the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Edward Gardner. The album offers orchestrations, by Sibelius and others, of songs which Sibelius originally wrote for voice and piano, and includes the premiere recording of ‘In the Stream of Life,’ seven songs orchestrated by Rautavaara for his friend. Throughout, the poetry perfectly reflects the instinctively felt relation between Finnish nature and Sibelius’s music.
The years spanned by this seven-disc Warner Classics collection coincide with the peak years of Jean Sibelius' popularity. At that time, he was widely regarded in Western countries as the greatest living composer, though he had essentially stopped producing major works after the mid-1920s, when he wrote the Symphony No. 7 in C major, the incidental music to The Tempest, and Tapiola.