Related Reviews
BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
'...this release can hold its own with the best around. Thomas Søndergård's approach conjures a pulsing energy of the kind which seems to well up from within the music itself.'
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Pizzicato
Supersonic Award: '...they play with excellent transparency and they give very accurate and diversified accounts of the various works.'
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The Arts Desk
'...this collection of tone poems and incidental music boasts excellent sound, with impressive playing from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.'
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The Scotsman
4 Stars
'The opening Nocturne is an absolute gem, serene, evocative, and richly melodic. Søndergård teases out every ounce of quiet passion.'
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All Music
4 Stars
'His approach to Sibelius is dry, deliberate, and focused on transparency and the revelation of inner detail, and in realizing these goals, he draws fine playing from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.'
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CD Choice
'These are performances of immense sensitivity and (where required) dramatic forcefulness – The Oceanides in particular is given one of the most striking readings it has enjoyed in recent years.'
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MusicWeb International
'This is a full-throated big hall reading of the Suite which is given a most impressive symphonic impulse. These recordings and readings equate integrity with restraint and warrant being played at a higher than usual volume.'
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Thomas Sondergard - Sibelius: Finlandia - BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'


30 June 2018
BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
Andrew McGregor

And when Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård took over the reins at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, one of the first things he said was, “I can’t wait to discover Sibelius all over again with my new orchestra”, which he has, as you’ll know if you’ve followed their cycle of Sibelius symphonies on record, 4 down, 3 to go. Now there’s a sidebar, if you like: tone poems and Sibelius’s theatre music. So alongside something as familiar as Finlandia there’s the incidental music for the play King Christian II. Danes versus Swedes in the sixteenth century. The Suite made it to the Proms in London in 1901, and it begins with a rather lovely nocturne.

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The nocturne that opens the suite from Sibelius’s incidental music for the play King Christian II, that was the new recording from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Thomas Søndergård. It’s of a piece with their with their Sibelius symphonies so far, direct, well-paced, nowhere for the players to hide in the upfront detailed recording. No shocks or major surprises in the tone poems, from En Saga and Finlandia to a Valse Triste that steers the right side of overt sentimentality for me. Sibelius, from Thomas Søndergård and Cardiff – new this week on Linn Records.


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Related Links

BBC National Orchestra of WalesBBC National Orchestra of Wales
Thomas SondergardThomas Sondergard
Sibelius: FinlandiaSibelius: Finlandia