Related Reviews
Scherzo
'...the Dane delivers a convincing Sibelius in terms of sonority and atmosphere...'
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Hi-Fi News
'...a wonderful opening clarinet solo, pp, that raises great expectations for what follows - a peformance that's absorbing right through.'
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Klassisk
'...the whole course (of the symphony) is beautifully formed...'
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MusicWeb International
'Overall, this is a pretty successful pairing of two very different Sibelius symphonies. Throughout the disc the playing of the BBCNOW is excellent.'
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FonoForum
'These are rather mild, lovingly designed Sibelius interpretations with a fine balance of the sound colors...'
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Politiken
'The soundscape is warm and unusually clear...you feel as if you can hear every string...'
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Classical Modern Music blog
'This one gives us all the ice and passion of Sibelius-as-Sibelius.'
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Audio Video Club of Atlanta
'Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård gives us illuminating performances in what is shaping up as an outstanding Sibelius cycle.'
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BBC Radio Scotland 'Classics Unwrapped'
Album of the Week: 'His attention to detail, the atmospheres of the pieces have all been beautifully crafted.'
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Pizzicato
Supersonic Award: 'Both performances are very atmospheric and benefit from a superior recording technique.'
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Classical Ear
4 Stars
'Arresting touches, sparky incident and ear-pricking details are legion.'
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Classica
'...straightforward lines, low-key development, delicate phrase endings…'
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BBC Music Magazine
'very dean-cut, finely detailed playing, reflected in a vividly immediate recording...there's plenty to enjoy here...'
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Opera Lounge
'A fantastic recording...one of the best of this piece I've ever come across.'
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The Observer
4 Stars
'...this pairing of Sibelius’s First and Sixth symphonies stands out well in an overcrowded market.'
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WFMT (Chicago)
5 Stars
'...revealed Søndergård to have a profound understanding of the great Finnish composer.'
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BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
'…this is a Sibelian with a keen ear for texture and balance.'
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Hi-Fi+
4 Stars
'...it's the transition between first and sixth symphonies that demonstrates why Sondergard and the BBC NOW should be considered an important voice of Sibelius...'
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Gramophone
'There is a transparency, too, with the prominence of inner parts illuminating the harmony in interesting ways...It’s a uniquely Sibelian sound'
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Thomas Sondergard - Sibelius: Symphonies 1 & 6 - CPR


01 July 2017
CPR
Jeff Zumfelde

The seven symphonies written by Jean Sibelius occupy a place somewhere between the Romantic and the modern. The harmonic language is more in line with Tchaikovsky than Stravinsky, and the symphonies are filled with melodies. But the thematic development and streamlining of form look forward and plant Sibelius firmly in the 20th century. Thomas Sondergard and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales emphasize these modernist tendencies with performances that are not effusively emotional, highly mannered or overly cerebral. Instead, they strike a balance between external reserve and the deeply human heart of these symphonies. The nuanced interplay of solo clarinet and timpani at the beginning of Symphony No. 1 illustrates the connection between conductor, orchestra, and score.
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Related Links

BBC National Orchestra of WalesBBC National Orchestra of Wales
Thomas SondergardThomas Sondergard
Sibelius: Symphonies 1 & 6Sibelius: Symphonies 1 & 6