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
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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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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 - The Observer


11 June 2017
The Observer
Fiona Maddox
4 Stars

Recorded in the clear acoustic of BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff, this pairing of Sibelius’s First and Sixth symphonies stands out well in an overcrowded market. Under the baton of principal conductor Thomas Søndergård, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales plays with punch and vitality. In Symphony No 1, solo woodwind and harp, lithe and transparent, make an impact in the grand opening movement before the climactic roar of low brass. Warm strings in the second, taut manoeuvrings in the scherzo and menace in the finale complete an agile account. In both works, Søndergård keeps the tempi flexible and brings out unexpected, elusive detail. The Sixth is fresh, clean-edged and yet, as ever with Sibelius, tender.
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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