Related Reviews
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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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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Classica
'...straightforward lines, low-key development, delicate phrase endings…'
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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 - Classical Ear


10 July 2017
Classical Ear
Andrew Achenbach
4 Stars

The second volume in Thomas Søndergård's Sibelius cycle for Linn with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales brings further compelling evidence of this partnership's perceptive insights. The First Symphony in particular sounds excitingly newly-minted under the Dane's memorably watchful advocacy, the orchestral playing full of enthusiasm and pungent character (bracingly expressive winds throughout). Arresting touches, sparky incident and ear-pricking details are legion. Above all, there's a contagious hunger and freshness of new discovery that mark out this newcomer as yet another 'must hear' alongside recent rivals like Storgårds (Chandos) and Kamu (BIS). Linn's lean, transparent sonics suit Søndergård's approach to a T. If the performance of the altogether more rarefied Sixth doesn't quite ignite the imagination to the same degree, there's still lots to admire, not least the abundant dramatic and poetic instinct on show, as well as the unvarnished, big-hearted honesty these fine artists bring to this illimitably fascinating, timeless and uniquely personal statement. Impressive.
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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