Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4 are poles apart in their musical style and make a highly interesting pairing for this new release.
Symphony No. 1 is rooted in the symphonic tradition and has a particular tunefulness reminiscent of Tchaikovsky, whereas Symphony No. 4 is highly original and introverted, often being seen as modern and ‘cubist' by listeners in the 1890s.
'Exceptional: incredibly tense and energetic, yet teeming with detail. The orchestral sound, lithe and sparse, suits Vänskä's unsentimental approach. Look elsewhere if you want romantic bloom, but I find these crouching-tiger interpretations thrilling.' The Times
'The passion and sweep of the First...is even more electric than in Lahti...[in the Fourth] this most stylistically advanced of Sibelius's symphonies emerges equally well as a hugely powerful utterance. With superb sound as always from BIS, this new disc has set the bar for all to follow and past ones to be measured against.' Gramophone
Grammy Winner 2014 - Best Orchestral performance